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UC-AFT Statewide Election Nominations 2015


The following slate has been nominated for the statewide UC-AFT Executive Board:

President- Bob Samuels
Vice President for Organizing- Chris Hables Gray
Vice President for Grievances- Sandra Baringer
Vice President for Legislation- Axel E. Borg
Secretary Treasurer- Miki Goral

Candidate Statements

President- Bob Samuels  (PDF version)

As President of UC-AFT, I will continue to work to help defend the rights and professional status of all members in Units17 and 18. In the last couple of years, I have brought our issues to the national media, and we have now become a national voice for free public higher education. I have also served as the President of the CFT council for universities, and I continue to work on our relationship with AFT. It is important to point out that during my term in office, we have seen substantial improvement in the salaries and security of people in both units, and on the grievance and enforcement side, we have won several important cases, and we have also won important arbitration and Public Employment Relations Board cases. want to thank our staff and Sandy Baringer for their work in these areas. I also want to thank Miki Goral and Chris Gray for their continued leadership in helping to protect the status of librarians. Our recent negotiations over the Unit 17 contract have finally resulted in an improved salary structure. Miki has also been instrumental in our effort to improve the financial stability of UC-AFTFinally, I would like to continue to professionalize our union and work with our Associate Directors to help support and coordinate our staff, while I work with Axel Borg on increasing our political clout. I look forward to increasing the activism of all members in our union.

Vice President for Organizing- Chris Hables Gray  (PDF version)

Brothers and Sisters,

I am running for a second one-year term as Vice-President for Organizing. My first year was harder than I expected it would be. In part, because of one-time internal organizational issues that were very complicated and difficult, but also because the learning curve was steeper than I expected. While I have a rich background in organizing, there is more to this position than that. There is a great deal of work by the statewide e-board I did not know about, in areas such as labor law around grievances and other things, personnel management, and specific issues with our allies, our mother union, and the UC administration. Between these two factors I have not pushed forward the organizing as much as I had planned. 

This next year, now that I’m up to speed on everything, I promise to help create the environment we need to grow this union in power, focus, and numbers so that we can accomplish what we need to-- not just a great new contract for our lecturers and stopping the deprofessionalization of our librarians, but build a union that can survive any evil Supreme Court decisions that come down and keep struggling for UC Democracy.

My approach is first, to quote the great Egyptian novelist Al-Aswany, “Democracy is the Answer”. Specifically, that means signing up new members, building site rep or other rich networks, better internal communications, growing a strong Green Caucus and supporting other voices within our union, increasing our use of social and other communications and information media in our organizing, and helping organize the actions we need to build our network and have it thrive.

When I was on the hiring committee for the staff position at UCSD (and we did a great job), we asked all the candidates, “If hired, would you commit to staying on the job until the lecturer contractis won? They all said yes. I could not ask this of them without committing to it myself. But soon after that milestone is achieved, in two or three years, I plan to step away from thisposition. To that end, if you have any interest in being Vice-President of Organizing down the line, please do ask me about it. It does pay (half or more time, hourly pay up to $2500 a month, no benefits), it is only for members of UC-AFT, and it is as rewarding as it is difficult. So, really rewarding. 

If you don’t know me, talk to your colleagues and friends who do through the organizing committee or my visits to the campus. I’ll stand by my work and my perspective that UC-AFT can, and should, do better than just struggle for better working conditions or even for a better, a more democratic, UC. By doing this with clarity, we are also doing what we can for a just and sustainable world.

Vice President for Grievances- Sandra Baringer (PDF version)

I am running for my third term as VP of Grievances. I have taught in the University Writing Program at UCR for over twenty years, first as a grad student and then as a lecturer. While I was a grad student, I taught part-time at Palomar College and was involved in organizing the CFT affiliate there in 1999-2000. I served as UC-AFT field rep at UCR from 2004-2013, starting out in that job with two grievances against my own program for increasing workload and outsourcing. Prior to returning to grad school to pursue a career in teaching, I was a criminal defense and legal aid attorney in Oregon.

My dissertation was published as The Metanarrative of Suspicion in Late Twentieth Century America (Routledge 2004). I edited the twice-a-year newspaper of the California Part-time Faculty Association, a trans-union coalition of activists for non-tenure-track faculty rights in the California Community Colleges, from 2000-2010. I served on the Modern Language Association's Committee on Contingent Labor in the Profession from 2009-2012, and on the editorial subcommittee that assembled the special issue of the Associated Departments of English/Associated Departments of Foreign Languages Bulletin in 2013, Non-tenure-track Faculty in English and the Other Modern Languages: Issues ad Directions. I have spoken on panels on non-tenure-track faculty issues at a number of professional association forums over the past few years.

I am very pleased with the direction our union has been taking recently. Thanks to Bill Quirk and our wonderful staff, we now have a functioning archive of grievance and PERB documents accessible to our staff and stewards, enabling all of us to benefits from each other's past experience and perspective on contract enforcement work. As one of the two newest members of our executive board, I believe we are starting to coalesce as a team. I look forward to working with the executive board, staff, and Council over the coming year.

Vice President for Legislation- Axel E. Borg (PDF version)

I have served as Vice President for Legislation of the University Council of the American Federation of Teachers (UC‐AFT) for five years. I have decided to run again for election in that same office. The last five 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.

I have recently transitioned to the Chief Negotiator for the librarian bargaining after serving as the Deputy. I am also the contract administrator. Since we signed the 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.

Over the course of the last year the number of grievances filed by librarians has increased. Much of this is due to both reorganization and to a concerted effort of library administration to de‐professionalize librarians. Also, there is a move to challenge the academic standing of librarians. Both of these issues are critical to our role as librarians in the UC system.

I have been working closely with Chris Hables Gray and Mike Rotkin on internal organizing with an intention to develop membership capacity. 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-empowermentUnions function best when members are involved, it is how I came to this position myself 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

Secretary Treasurer- Miki Goral (PDF version)

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, when I passed the reins to UC-AFT Vice-President Mike Rotkin.

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.

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 believe that we need to streamline our internal organization to be more efficient and easier to manage. To that end, I propose to work on restructuring UC-AFT into a single local with campus chapters. This will eliminate administrative obligations that now must be fulfilled for nine separate entities and make it easier for all union members to participate in the work of the union.

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 Bob Samuels, in that body.

As the university moves to implement new methods of delivering education to students, the union must play a role to insure that the quality that makes the University of California so well-regarded is not compromised. Our president, Bob Samuels, has been instrumental in bringing to the fore issues surrounding the University’s real support of undergraduate education. It is the task of the Council to engage our members in this process and support our leaders as we work with the governor and legislature to hold the University to account. I look forward to being a part of this goal as an officer of UC-AFT.