Saturday, January 27, 2018

Look for the Union Label

I decided after the election last year that I was going to be more politically involved because I need to.  So I ran for an office (treasurer) in my union local.  And I won, because no one else was running.  But then we arranged for me to put off taking over because I was away.

So this week was take over week.  There've been meetings.

And what I noticed: leftist men talk over me just like non-leftist men.

We are all white (officer group).  We need to change that.  Every single officer would agree.  But no one had taken even the minimal step of offering support at the community MLK day event.  Or at the Juneteenth event.  (The list goes on.)  First, the union should be there offering support because we should support these events.  Second, the union should be there offering support so that folks see that we're there.  Because we should be supporting these events.  And so on.

Being new, I seem to have some energy that time has worn out of the others.  I should take advantage of that while I can.

I did, in fact.  I used my new connection with staff folks (I had lunch with the person I met at the professional development day) to ask who's in charge of new faculty/academic staff orientation, and emailed that person asking if the union could have 10-15 minutes of time, or at least if we could set up a table to introduce people to the union.  The person in charge responded enthusiastically.

The union has no actual power because of state laws.  But we can do things that would be helpful to people.  For example, we can help organize people to work on phone banks, and the union temple in town has equipment and so forth.

It took us an hour to go to the bank to do the signature hand over, and we couldn't actually do it because the prior secretary and current president didn't think to ask what paperwork we needed (and neither did I), so we didn't have the paperwork.  Duh.

At any rate, I expect I'll be blogging a bit about being more active in the union now.


  1. I'm jealous -- I've never been at a university that had a union. (All my jobs have been in "right to work" states.)

    1. We started organizing as soon as it was legal for us to have a union, and then they made it illegal for the union to actually negotiate. But it can still do political organizing and stuffs.

  2. Good for you for getting involved! But it sounds like the kind of situation that would drive me crazy.

  3. Wow -- good for you.

  4. Regarding men speaking over you: last department meeting, I actually said, “Will you please let me finish talking?!?” when my chair was talking over me. He does that ALL the time, to all of us. He continued to talk over me. I said, “Excuse me, I am STILL talking.” He finally shut up, but people looked at me like I was rude. Oh I’m rude??? Me?? It irks me that everyone complains about him talking over them, but then when someone asserts herself, the others take his side. Humph!