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Nominees and Candidate Statements for Statewide Officer Elections 2018-19

The following members have been nominated for statewide positions:

Mia McIver, UCLA (incumbent)

VP for Grievances
Ben Harder, UCR (incumbent)

I have been honored to serve as Vice President for Grievances for the 2016-18 Academic Years, and I wish to serve again during 2018-19. As we anticipate the Janus vs. AFSCME decision of the Supreme Court, which will attack our Union by eroding our funding, we need to have both new member activists and those with experience and institutional memory to effectively defend our contract and support our Librarians and Lecturers.

In the past year, I negotiated a massive settlement at Berkeley, where the management was trying to deny dozens of Lecturers in Languages their contractually mandated workload improvement, supported the Teachers at Preuss School at UC San Diego as they successfully negotiated their first contract, and worked to recruit, train, and support local grievance stewards. I was also constantly consulting with and I look forward to continuing to work for the Union in whatever capacity I can, and request the honor of serving another term as Vice President for Grievances.

VP for Legislation
Axel Borg, UCD (incumbent)

I have served as Vice President for Legislation of the University Council of the American Federation of Teachers (UC‐AFT) for eight years. I have decided to run again for election in that same office. The last eight years have seen many changes in both the working conditions that we face in the University of California and the challenges that we face as union members. I look forward to continuing to serve librarians and lecturers across the University of California System.

As VP for Legislation I have been working with the legislative and political staff of our parent union, CFT. We have interviewed candidates for Lieutenant Governor and we have participated with our coalition unions in advocating for librarians and lecturers in the UC System. I have worked with our lobbyist in Sacramento regarding legislation that will impact our union and our work as librarians and lecturers.

In addition to serving as VP for Legislation I am also the Chief Negotiator for the librarian bargaining and the contract administrator. Since we signed the current contract I have been working with librarians so that they can understand their rights under that contract. I have also been working with librarians across the system as UC libraries undergo reorganization.

Shortly we will be entering into successor bargaining. For the last year we have been organizing and preparing librarians for bargaining the next MOU (contract). We have held a succession of training meetings and we have come a long way in getting prepared for bargaining. I am amazed at the quality and enthusiasm of the librarians that have stepped forward to serve in a variety of roles. Bargaining will begin in April and we are more prepared than ever before.

I have been working closely with Mia McIver in internal organizing with an intention to develop membership capacity of both librarians and lecturers. This capacity will empower our members and position both the librarian and lecturer bargaining to achieve better contracts for both groups. I believe strongly in unions and their role in self‐empowerment. Unions function best when members are involved, it is how I became involved and I feel that by my standing for the rights of others, others will stand for me.

I believe that the promise of the University of California, as the leading public university in the world, has been betrayed by the current leadership, and our Union, UC‐AFT, has taken a leadership role in fighting to restore that promise of public higher education.

I continue to learn from our colleagues on Executive Board. Our Union is fortunate to have members who have stepped forward at both the campus and statewide level. Not only have they stepped forward they are a truly remarkable group and I look forward to continuing to work with and serve both the officers and members of UC‐AFT. I look forward to the opportunity to serve you.

In solidarity,
Axel E. Borg

VP for Organization
Roxi Powers, UCSC (incumbent)

As your VP for Organizing for the past 9 months, I have been honored to collaborate with you in strengthening our member involvement and capacity to organize.

This year, our union set records in recruiting and activating members: the two fundamental branches of my organizing plan. In so doing, we have proven that we’ve got what it takes to fight back against the right-wing assault on public unions and public education. We are part of a national resurgence of grassroots organizing with the potential for real wins for workers if we remain mobilized.

Anticipating contraction, we have been very successful this year:

  • Librarians are ready as they advance to bargaining in April.
  • As of March 1, we are up almost 8% or 500 members from a year ago.

Over half of our campuses have surpassed or are closing in on 70% membership.

  • We have built a strong Site Rep network on most campuses

This huge effort by members and staff deserves an award, and we are receiving one from the California Federation of Teachers for growth of new members.

For years we’ve talked about building a strong Site Rep structure. This year, we did it. Site Reps keep their colleagues informed about union matters, help them organize around their rights, and sign up new members. Some campuses have active Site Rep Coordinators for the first time. Most campuses have around 10 Site Reps, some close to 20: a huge expansion in one year!

Experienced organizers know that activating members in their departmental work sites around their own professional interests is the way to build a loyal membership and to sustain a union through political swings. It is vital that we continue to funnel our energy into this crucial work, reaching out to our current members to recommit to the union and to represent the value of membership. The more we have these conversations, the more we feel connected to our colleagues, our profession, the University, and the Union.

My conversations with members during campus organizing visits have been the most satisfying part of my job. I’ve developed relationships and collaborated on projects with many committed leaders, laying a foundation for continued trust and collaboration going forward into more challenging times.

On February 26, the day of opening remarks in the Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court case, I co-organized a huge cross-union rally at UCSC. Two days later, I traveled to UC Davis to help launch their recommitment campaign, taking many short videos of members who proclaimed their love for the union and their intention to stick with it. The infectious solidarity of the Davis community exemplifies why I want to keep doing this work with you all.

More than ever, we need to nourish our hard-working activists with appreciation and a sense of belonging in a community that has their back. You can count on me to be there for you when you need support or want to talk through obstacles or ideas. It's what I love to do the most.

I will continue to devote myself to priority projects like building out the ORE, our “Organizing Resources and Education” site: a user-friendly site filled with newly designed trainings, orientation slide shows, flyers, door cards, recommitment cards, Site Rep materials, a Janus tool kit, and much more.

I will also work hard to expand our coalitions with other organizations affected by Janus and to open other avenues to respect and power for lecturers and librarians within the UC. I authored and will present a CFT resolution at their annual convention in support of expanded rights for Non-Senate Faculty within campus governance structures, including representation, voting rights, and pay on Senate committees that focus on undergraduate education.

As we collectively organize our way to a member-driven union that is no longer merely transactional, we will all be asked to contribute. There are more than 50 ways to love your union, and I look forward to working with you to find what you can do to keep your union—hence your job, salary, and benefits—strong.

In solidarity,
Roxi Power

Miki Goral, UCLA (incumbent)

I am running for re-election as UC-AFT Secretary Treasurer. I have had the honor of serving UC-AFT in various capacities since 1983, when I first joined the Unit 17 (Librarians) bargaining team as the record-keeper, later becoming the Chief Negotiator. I have led the Unit 17 negotiating teams from 1984 to 2007.

In 1984, I was elected Secretary of UC-AFT, an office I held until 1986, when I became Treasurer. In 1999, a re-structuring of the Council combined the duties of Secretary and Treasurer into one position, which I have held since then. During my tenure as a Council officer, I have worked with a number of officeholders and Executive Directors and can provide a context of continuity for the work of the organization.

While most of the union’s work is focused on representing our members and enforcing the contracts we have negotiated, we must not forget that UC-AFT is part of the larger union movement in the United States. I serve as a vice-president of the California Federation of Teachers, representing the interests of UC-AFT and university academic employees, along with UC-AFT President Mia McIver, in that body.

The Secretary-Treasurer’s duties are set out in the By-Laws: namely to record and disseminate minutes of Council meetings and to be responsible for all monies received and paid out by UC-AFT. I have developed and streamlined procedures to fulfill the duties of the job efficiently and accurately. I have striven to monitor the union’s finances and ensure that our funds are used wisely for the benefit of our members.

With the specter of the Janus decision facing us, stewardship of the union’s finances will face new challenges. I think I have the experience to handle them and look forward to doing so.

Miki Goral


In Unity,

Tiffany Page, UC Berkeley, Chair Nominations Committee

Mitchell Brown, UC Irvine, Nominations Committee Lyons, UC Santa Cruz, Nominations Committee