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UC-AFT 1474 Candidate Statements Spring 2019 Executive Board Elections

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Candidates for Co-Chair

Joanna Reed, Continuing Lecturer, Sociology

I am a Continuing Lecturer in the sociology department and have been a UC-AFT executive board member for the last two years. Over that time, the board has worked to make our union more democratic, participatory and focused on member engagement, in addition to continuing to provide service to members. This has been made more difficult by the Janus supreme court decision, which demands a constant focus on keeping membership numbers up in order for the union to continue its work and maintain our hard-fought gains. I am proud to have been part of those efforts. With your support, I hope to continue this work next year as co-chair. This upcoming year will be pivotal, as lecturer bargaining will be underway, and librarian bargaining continues. As co-chair, my efforts will focus on continuing efforts at strengthening our union through member engagement and building a broader base of public support so that we can win at the bargaining table.

David Eifler, Environmental Design Librarian

During times of political attacks on public education and educators, it is more important than ever that we work together to protect quality higher education so essential to the healthy development of California, our country, and the world.  Having spent the past 18 months serving on the table team for librarians, I have experience with contract negotiations which I hope to bring, along with librarian support, to the lecturer negotiations. I look forward to serving as co-chair of AFT 1474’s Executive Board to deepen ties among the librarians and lecturers in support of our students' educational opportunities and success. 

 

Candidates for Collective Member

Crystal Chang Cohen, Continuing Lecturer, International & Area Studies 

I am a Lecturer in the IAS Academic Program, where I have taught for more than six years. I am an active supporter of the union and particularly enjoy participating in membership drives and getting to know new lecturers. I currently serve as the department contact for the political science department. I received my PhD in political science from UC Berkeley in 2011.

Anibel Ferus-Comelo, Lecturer, Goldman School of Public Policy

I have been a member of UC-AFT Local 1474 since August 2017 when I have started working at the UC Berkeley Labor Center with 20+ years of experience serving the labor movement in the US, the UK and in India. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in labor studies through the Goldman School of Public Policy. I believe that labor education, leadership development and the promotion of rank-and-file leadership in unions are critical to transform the US labor movement, and cultivate global labor solidarity. As a union, we need to insist upon job security and equality as Berkeley lives up to its public education mission.

Kim Freeman, Lecturer, College Writing Programs

I’ve been a lecturer at Cal for six years. While I’ve only been at Cal a relatively short time, I’ve taught a lot elsewhere and I’ve seen a variety of non-tenure line positions. What that experience has shown me is how much UC-AFT Local 1474 has done for lecturers and librarians at Cal, and how vital the union is to our positions here, from securing raises to professional development funding. I served on the PDF committee for a couple of years, which gave me the opportunity to see what great work so many of our members are doing, work that is hard to support without the resources UC-AFT fought for. I also served on the e-board last year. While the union has done a lot, there is, of course, still more to do, and we cannot rest easy, especially given the current political climate and the upcoming bargaining for our new contract. That’s why I’m running for the UC-AFT board again—to continue, and I hope build upon, the strengths organized labor affords us all.

Kendra Levine, Transportation Librarian

I've been a librarian at Berkeley for 11 years. In my past year on the UC-AFT Local 1474 Executive Board and through Unit 17 Librarian contract bargaining, I have seen the power of organizing and standing up for workers at UC and beyond. I'm standing for the Executive Board again to continue this work at this critical time when both librarians and lecturers are contract negotiations. I believe librarians, lecturers, students, and all workers on campus are in this struggle together and that we will win.

Joseph Lough, Lecturer, Economics

The employer-employee, investor-producer-consumer model that has come to dominate today’s educational goods market obscures the critical place of participants in a community of enquiry and learning. The university (as employer) frequently counts students (as investors) and lecturers (as employees) only from the vantage point of the utility function. Sadly lecturers often play their role as employees only too well. I am hoping to engage lecturers not simply as employees delivering a product to investor-consumers, but as educators within a community of enquiry and learning; educators who enjoy intimate, expert knowledge both within their fields and about the optimum conditions under which learning takes place.

Indira Martina Morre, Continuing Lecturer, Art Practice

I am a Continuing Lecturer at the Department of Art Practice and have been a part of the UC-AFT grievance team at UC Berkeley for the last year. Our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is an important component of a productive, respectful, and beneficial relationship between our members and the university. Over the past year I have studied our contract in order to address the many concerns of our unit members. From issues of academic freedom, continuing appointments, instructional workload, to discrimination in employment, and grievance procedure, I have learned about the power of our contract and our imperative to be respected by the university.  My goal is to further research possibilities for expanding the language in the upcoming lecturer contract negotiation.

Margaret Phillips, Librarian for Education, Gender & Women's Studies, Psychology

I have been a librarian at UC for more than 25 years and only became actively involved in UC-AFT during the last three years. I became involved when I realized the Union's goals are nothing less that the goals of the University -- to provide quality public higher education and research in the State of California. I am excited to see an increased level of engagement by members throughout the state over the course of the most recent librarian contract campaign. The more of us involved in the union, the stronger we are. 

Tiffany Linton Page, Continuing Lecturer, Global Studies

Now that Lecturers are in the midst of bargaining a new contract, this is a great opportunity for us to come together and get more organized, build a broader Lecturer community on campus, and increase membership. Not only is it an opportunity, it is essential that we do this if we want to improve our terms of employment and working conditions, as well as resist UC-initiated modifications to our contract that would worsen them. Along with representing Berkeley on the UC-AFT Bargaining Team, I will also work on engaging more Lecturers at Berkeley in our contract campaign.