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Bay Area Chapter Candidate Statements - Spring 2021 Executive Board Elections



Candidates for Co-Chair

Crystal Chang Cohen, UCB Continuing Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Social Science Program

My name is Crystal Chang Cohen and I am a Continuing Lecturer in the International and Area Studies Program. I became involved with the union two years ago. Through my work on the current contract campaign, I have come to appreciate the crucial role UC-AFT plays in protecting our rights and expanding our access to healthcare and pension benefits. Only through community building and collective action can we pressure the administration to appropriately compensate us for our contributions to the teaching mission of this University. I would be honored for the opportunity to continue building our union’s power in these challenging times. Thank you for your consideration.

I-Wei Wang, UCB Librarian, Berkeley School of Law

I'm asking you to vote for me to serve as Unit 17 Co-Chair. I am a long-time law librarian at UC Berkeley and was part of the 2017-19 table team that negotiated our current contract. I currently serve on the Contract Administration Group that oversees enforcement of our contract, and have been an active observer during the currently pending Unit 18 bargaining process. I worked extensively with the statewide Council and other leaders from all the campuses on the recent organizational and constitutional changes to UC-AFT structure. I've also been a member of the collective board of the former Berkeley/SF local, and a member of the Librarian Organizing Committee. Based on my experiences with organizing, engaging with and leading librarian members both locally and statewide, and collaborating at the statewide level, I hope to serve the interests of Unit 17 librarians at UC Berkeley and UCSF. I believe I also understand the perspectives and interests of our law librarian colleagues in the Hastings Unit and our teaching faculty siblings in Unit 18. I look forward to working with all our chapter members as we strive together to keep our union strong and democratic, to ally ourselves with all workers in the UC and beyond, and to continually improve public higher education at the UC and beyond.


Candidates for Council Delegate

Joanna Reed, UCB Continuing Lecturer, Sociology

I am a Continuing Lecturer in the sociology department and have been involved in our chapter for the past 5 years, three years as a collective member, and the last two years as Lecturer co-chair. 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 services to members. I am proud to have been part of these efforts and I am looking forward to continuing this work into the coming year as a collective member and state council delegate, as we fight for a new and improved contract for lecturers, make sure that librarians' hard won gains are honored by the UC administration and stand with other campus unions to ensure that the university treats all its workers with the respect they deserve.

David Eifler, UCB Librarian, Environmental Design

I am a librarian who has been active on the bargaining collective, on the bargaining table team with I-Wei Wang and who served as librarian co-chair of the local executive collective for two years.  I look forward to the opportunity to represent Berkeley's interests at the UC-AFT Statewide Council in our collective endeavor to secure increased job security for lecturers and professional autonomy for librarians.

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

I have been a librarian at UC for more than 30 years. But I only became actively involved in UC-AFT during the last few years when I realized the Union's goals are nothing less than the goals of the University -- to provide quality public higher education and research in the State of California. I look forward to serving on the UC-AFT Statewide Council.


Candidates for Collective Members

Barbara Barnes, UCB Continuing Lecturer, Gender & Women’s Studies

I am a continuing lecturer in Gender & Women’s Studies, where I have taught since spring, 2007. I became involved with our Bay Area Chapter of UC-AFT because I realized that the few job protections and access to benefits we have as lecturers are only due to the collective action of our bargaining unit. At this time of contract negotiations, I am eager to actively work with the chapter to ensure a contract that enables secure, fair, and humane working conditions for lecturers and other contingent university workers.

Charlie Macquarie, UCSF Librarian, Digital Archivist

I am excited to be running for the UC-AFT Bay Area Chapter Collective, and to continue building solidarity for librarians and lecturers from UCSF to UC Berkeley to UC Hastings. As budgets tighten across the UC, we know that organizing and movement building will be necessary to ensure that the UC continues to uphold its responsibilities to librarians, lecturers, and all the staff that do the everyday work of making a world-class public university run, and I am here for that work. In addition, as the UC Libraries and the University as a whole continue to ebb and flow in our reckoning with the roles we have played in anti-black racism, theft of indigenous land and cultural knowledge, and militarized police violence, there are great opportunities within AFT for coalition building towards true justice, and I look forward to pushing on these possibilities. Thank you for considering me as a candidate for the Bay Area Chapter Collective.

Matthew Specter, UCB Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Social Science Program and Legal Studies

I have been attending union meetings and actions since arriving in 2017. In the past year I have been active on the CAT team for UC Berkeley and attended many bargaining sessions, which have shown me the need for collective action to transform the lecturer track from gig to stable career. It is not only in our interest but that of the institution and the undergraduates who will be the PhDs of tomorrow. Let's force UC to create a viable career path for them as well as us.

Tim Vollmer, UCB Librarian, Scholarly Communication and Copyright

I’m Tim Vollmer, librarian at UC Berkeley since August 2019. I still feel like a newbie, but I’m committed to worker solidarity, and I want to contribute more. I’ve participated in several union actions, including being an active member of the UC-AFT 1474 Librarian Organizing Committee, contributor to our Better Know Your Contract information series, observer and supporter for lecturer bargaining and events, and signature-wrangler for the Schools and Communities First ballot initiative. I’m interested in productive labor organizing to build power, listening and learning from union comrades, and working to bring new voices to our group too.

Kim Freeman, UCB Continuing Lecturer, College Writing Programs

I’m a continuing lecturer in College Writing Programs. 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.

Khalid Kadir, UCB Continuing Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Social Science Programs & Engineering

I am a Continuing Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Social Science Programs (formerly International and Area Studies) as well as a Lecturer in the College of Engineering. I am eager to contribute to making our union a force for positive change, both for lecturers and librarians as well as for our entire university community and beyond. To that end, I would like to help with ongoing efforts towards increasing participation in our union as well as work towards organizing collectively with other groups in our community.