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Statewide Council Board Annual Elections: Candidate Statements

Call for Nominations: Council Executive Board (Term: June 15, 2019- June 14, 2020)           

For more information on the duties associated with each of these offices, see the UC-AFT Constitution and Bylaws: http://www.ucaft.org/content/constitution-and-bylaws. Please send all nominations to the Nominations Committee Chair, Kendra Levine at:  kendra.k.levine@gmail.com.  Please note that each nominee must have been a member of the local for at least one year to be eligible for nomination. Self-nomination is permitted. Nominees are expected to produce a candidate's statement, which will be posted on the UC-AFT website on March 14 or as soon as it is submitted thereafter. The nominations committee received no nominations prior to February 27, so nominations for all offices will be accepted up to the election at the Council meeting. Elections will be held on April 13th, 2019 at the UC-AFT council meeting in Northern California.

Current nominees are listed below with their candidate statement.

President
Mia McIver--Incumbent, Unit 18, UCLA

Friends and Colleagues,

During the past year, we’ve entered a new era of labor and education activism.  The legal terrain has shifted; the political climate remains challenging.  But one thing has not and will not change: we are united in our efforts to make the University of California an equitable, hospitable, and accountable institution.

My record of service and leadership over the past year has included:

·      Welcoming and supporting new campus leaders

·      Responding directly to member questions and concerns

·      Educating students about our union’s accomplishments and goals

·      Testifying to the Assembly Select Committee about the future of the Master Plan for Higher Education in California

·      Successfully challenging UC management’s unlawful communications post-Janus and winning a favorable settlement

·      Hosting our first-ever leadership development conference for UC-AFT librarians and faculty

·      Joining UTLA, AFSCME 3299, and UPTE on picket lines and rallies during their strikes

·      Addressing the UC Regents about our issues and concerns

·      Ensuring our fiscal solvency while fully funding our highest priorities, such as our librarian bargaining campaign

·      Pursuing librarian grievances in arbitration for the first time ever

·      Supporting UC-AFT librarian negotiators and organizers in bargaining sessions, at rallies and protests, and in external communications

·      Publicizing the mental health challenges faced by UC students and UC-AFT members

·      Drafting librarian and faculty legislative resolutions for which a 15-member team will lobby at our upcoming UC-AFT Advocacy Day at the State Capitol

·      Collaborating with UPTE and UAW 2865 on legislation to prevent wage theft and protect our pensions

·      Bargaining with UC management over the effects of AFSCME v. Janus and related legislation

·      Electing the UC-AFT faculty Contract Campaign Committee, forming the Table Team, and planning training workshops for both

·      Holding UC-AFT faculty bargaining town halls at Irvine, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Berkeley, Merced, and UCLA

·      Coordinating our UC-AFT faculty bargaining campaign strategies

·      Securing organizing and training support from CFT

·      Objecting to UC’s relationship with defense contractor GDIT

·      Representing our interests and perspectives within CFT and AFT national

·      Proposing a strategic plan to guide and coordinate our efforts this year, and asking our other Council officers to do the same

·      Overseeing internal transitions to a new staffing structure, including holding staff retreats

The worst-case scenarios we were preparing for at this time last year have not come to pass.  That means we can move into the future together, our resolve unshaken.  I propose that our priorities for the coming year should include:

·      Engaging members around our bargaining campaigns in order to win great contracts

·      Building on our renewed member activism to support and expand our site rep structure and increase our member outreach

·      Providing skill-building opportunities for our established and emerging leaders

·      Revising our constitution to foster democracy, transparency, and inclusion

·      Defending both librarian and faculty bargaining units from the connected threats of erosion and deprofessionalization

Thank you for your support during my first two years in office.  I take nothing more seriously than my duty to represent you and all our members, and I humbly ask for your continued support for the coming year.  Solidarity forever!

 

Vice President for Grievances

Carla Arbagey, Unit 17, UCR
Dear Union Sisters, Brothers, and Siblings:

I am excited to accept the nomination for the office of Vice President of Grievances for our union. I have been a UC-AFT member for nearly 7 years, and a UC employee for 17 years.

My union experience includes serving as: president of Local #1966, librarian grievance steward for Riverside, and member of the librarians’ Table Team and Bargaining Communications Group. I also engage with our union by attending quarterly council meetings, the CFT convention, and local events. It’s hard work, but it is rewarding and fun, and I especially love to interact with like-minded lecturers and librarians from across the campuses.

As Riverside’s librarian grievance steward, I have had a broad range of experience in representation, contract enforcement, and organizing (so broad that I sometimes referred to my role as shop steward, not just grievance steward!). Most recently, I have stewarded a case involving the librarians’ review process, which is now in the arbitration phase. I’ve dealt with grievances regarding corrective action, flexible work arrangements, and working conditions. I also led a local negotiations team that bargained over the effects of our library’s [most recent] re-organization, which resulted in a side letter that was both beneficial to librarians and clarified the re-org process.

While most of my experience relates to the librarians’ contract, I am a quick learner and a quick study. I am confident that I can be as familiar with the lecturers’ contract, its details, nuances, and issues, as I am with the librarians’. Finally, I am eager to serve our union in a leadership role as we continue to strive to support and serve our members, and work for the mission of public higher education in California.

I hope you will support me with your vote!

In Solidarity,
Carla Arbagey

 

Vice President for Organization
Daniel Schoorl
Roxi Power

Daniel Schoorl, Unit 17, UCLA
I’m thrilled to accept the nomination for the office of Vice President for Organizing. These past years, it has been inspiring to see our union respond to challenges of organizing during a time of such a concerted attack on public sector unions. I’m proud to have participated in organizing at UCLA where our membership has grown and where I have been fortunate to learn and build from the examples that our incredible UC-AFT leaders have made. I truly believe that our efforts to make the University of California a more welcoming, equitable, and answerable institution is the just the beginning of what we can achieve.

My record of service and leadership over the past year has included:

· Welcoming and supporting new members at UCLA

· Responding directly to member questions and concerns

· Educating union members at UCLA about our union’s accomplishments and goals

· Educating union members in Los Angeles about our union via participation in the Los Angeles Young Workers

· Continuing to develop and strengthen our UCLA librarian organizing committee

· Continuing to develop and strengthen our union coalition at UCLA

· Joining UTLA, AFSCME 3299, UPTE-CWA, and Unite Here 11 on picket lines and rallies during their strikes and actions

· Serving as librarian grievance steward at UCLA

· Supporting UC-AFT librarian negotiators and organizers in bargaining sessions

· Establishing and building the UC-AFT strike fund

· Continuing to develop leadership skills through participation in the Los Angeles Federation of Labor Civic Leadership Academy

· Serving as a UC-AFT Local 1990 delegate to the Los Angeles Federation of Labor and participating in multiple strike sanction calls

Moving forward I plan to continue to cultivate my relationships with organizers at the Los Angeles Federation of Labor and to work closely with the Organizing Director to develop training curricula focused on organizing at the UC. I envision these curricula will focus on activating members to strengthen our coalition power and to enable local organizing committees to recruit new members, energize member activism, and align bargaining campaigns with our all-campus organizing goals.

I believe that we can continue to strengthen our union and fight for improvements in our working conditions and in higher public education. If elected, beyond the responsibilities of chairing the Organizing Committee and working with the President and staff to develop and implement our goals, I will work tirelessly to represent our members. I will commit myself to working vigorously to strengthening the structures and mechanisms we have in place to engage members, increase membership, and defend both units.

It would be an honor to serve as Vice-President for Organizing and I humbly ask for your support.

Roxi Power, Candidate Statement:  VP for Organizing (Incumbent)
I am excited to accept the nomination to be your VP for Organizing during the next critical year when our two Contract Campaigns overlap. 

As librarians move toward what we envision will be the successful finish line of a well-organized campaign, lecturers move to the starting line of theirs in April. Having supported librarians’ organizing the past two years, and having helped organize several successful lecturer contract campaigns during the past 20 years, I am prepared to help build member power to achieve new contractual protections, recognition, and resources.

Organizing during a time of crisis--preparing for the loss of fair share--is one thing, while organizing during a contract campaign enables us to transform crisis into power. I have helped mobilize campaigns strong enough to carry the strike that led to Continuing appointments, and engaging enough to bring a couple hundred people out for song-filled rallies during the last contract campaign while I was UCSC local President. I am most strategic and fired up when collaborating with activists to envision and escalate a bold campaign fight.  

During these last two years as VP for Organizing, I have also shown that I can organize during crisis. In the context of a national assault on labor, a University emboldened by our loss of fair share, and the resulting loss of almost half our staff, University negotiators expect that we are weakened.

Yet our numbers and organizing structures show otherwise. Our membership numbers remain higher than before I took office, even with the loss of staff, and we have a record number of Site Reps who are supported by a record number of Site Rep Coordinators. My organizing plans, along with training materials I developed, helped engage terrific member leaders to build new, solid Site Rep structures--the key to sustained member outreach hence successful bargaining.

But we still have further to go: some campuses have unique challenges and still need more leader support to engage Site Reps in member outreach. Rather than depending on our staff, we must use the energy of the contract campaign to build an ever more active membership, lest we see diminishing returns in our bargaining.

I will make leader mentorship and member engagement my top priority, supporting all campuses, as I have been, in diverse ways: monthly Organizing calls, individual outreach, campus visits, creating organizing and education materials, supporting membership drives, supporting librarian organizing, union coalition work, social media outreach, leading NEOs, data collection and analysis in NSF “best practice” reports and conferences, creating departmental organizing campaigns, authoring and presenting CFT resolutions, bringing tools to members from CFT and AFT conferences, working to expand shared governance, creating Organizing updates with activities at Council, representing members, pushing for democratic processes and coordinated efforts in leadership, creating large, engaging rallies with original songs, theater, and puppets—and more. 

Going forward, my priority is to help recruit more Site Rep Coordinators and provide more scheduled support and new trainings for organizers.

Working with the U18 Contract Campaign Committee, I will continue to build out our impressive ORE--the Organizing Resources and Educational materials site—that I put together as my top priority at the beginning of my first term.  

Working with the Unit 17 Contract Action Committee, I will continue to help with lively events, materials, and media related to bargaining. One of my primary commitments during the past 2 years has been to nurture a tighter bond of mutual support between our Units, which I will continue.

I also plan to help coordinate communications and unify actions between the various organizing arms of the union: the CCC, Site Rep network, elected boards, and staff.  Now more than ever, we need to build functional structures of unity.

As the song goes, there must be at least 50 ways to love your union, and I’m determined to help people find their special way to love the union that's loved them for all these years.

I would appreciate your support for one more term to bring to fruition the great work we started together: mobilizing our expansive Site Rep structure to engage members for two successful contract campaigns. 

Roxi

Vice President for Legislation  

John Rundin, Unit 18, UCD   (Incumbent)

I seek your support to serve as the UC-AFT’s Vice-President of Legislation. I hope to forge ties with legislators and other politicians to support our union.

I have a long record of union activity. At my previous place of employment from 1998 to 2004, the University of Texas at San Antonio, I was the president of the union that represented faculty there. At the University of California, I joined the union immediately on being hired as a lecturer in 2005, and regularly attended meetings. Once I passed my six-year review I became the UC Davis local membership officer. Shortly thereafter, I was elected president of the UC Davis local. In my time at UC Davis, I have largely devoted myself to organizing. Over the last seven years, I have recruited many tens of members, perhaps over a hundred. I continue to do the work of getting new members to sign up today and will not shirk that duty if elected to the UC-AFT state board.

I have experience in general in dealing with legislators. In Texas in the early 2000s, I was on the board of the San Antonio Stonewall Democrats and was the Vice-President of Development for the ACLU of Texas. In both capacities I regularly visited legislators and provided public testimony at hearings to support the cause of human rights. In California, I have participated in various CFT lobby days, in testimony for the CFT before legislative committees, and in the process of turning UC-AFT resolutions into the CFT’s legislative agenda. 

Currently, I am working with the CFT to pass two resolutions of support for Unit 17 and 18 in the California Legislature. By doing this work, we are strengthening ties between our union, legislators, and other politicians. We wish to become a valued resource for legislators seeing information on the University of California. As part of that effort, I am working to make this year’s CFT lobby day on April 2 a success.

If I am elected, I intend to develop a plan to systematically develop our legislative and political strength. Two things need to happen. First, we must coordinate with the CFT whose lobbying arm is eager to help us, and that includes mastering the resolution process within the CFT. Second, we must cultivate on every campus member activists who will not only liaison with politicians but will also give democratic input to our legislative agenda.

The University of California and the Legislature have a unique relationship. The University gets funding from the Legislature, but it has autonomy, which keeps the Legislature from interfering in its internal affairs. This is a good and bad thing. It protects the University from political interference in its academic endeavors. This is important; academic integrity requires that the University be shielded from such pressures. I would guess that no one in our union wants politicians shaping University curricula and research programs.

However, autonomy does have downsides. One downside is that the University, shielded from legislative oversight, has been able to foster an environment oftentimes quite hostile to those who work for it. Another downside arises because the University, sheltered by its autonomy, takes money from the legislature with little accountability. Legislators, feeling resentful at the University’s independence (and for other reasons), do not fund the University at appropriate levels. Therefore, the University relies more and more on non-legislative funding sources, including student fees. The result is an increasingly privatized University. 

In the long run, our way forward to address the problems caused by autonomy should be structural reform of the UC Board of regents. We should maintain autonomy, but we need to put in place engaged regents who listen to all stakeholders in the University, students, workers, educators, researchers, and California citizens. If, after this interim appointment as VP of Legislation, I become the regular VP of Legislation, that will be my long-term goal.

Finally, I am happy to contribute to the ongoing work of managing the union as a State Board member. We must revise our by-laws to reflect our democratic aspirations, while, at the same time, respecting our various constituencies including librarians and the campus locals.

Secretary-Treasurer
Miki Goral, Unit 17, 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 been on the Unit 17 negotiating teams from 1984 to now.

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.

I hope during my next term in office to work on restructuring the University Council to create a more unified democratic organization that involves more member participation.

Miki Goral