CGW Statement on The Hiring of Dr. Alexander Cartwright — May 24, 2017

CGW Statement on The Hiring of Dr. Alexander Cartwright

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 24, 2017

For more information contact Joseph Moore (732-948-5718 / moorjo86@gmail.com)

Columbia, Missouri – The Coalition of Graduate Workers (CGW), as the elected exclusive representative of the University of Missouri’s approximately 2,700 graduate employees, looks forward to working productively with newly-appointed Chancellor Dr. Alexander Cartwright on issues surrounding graduate student employment and well-being at Mizzou.

In his previous role, Dr. Cartwright served as provost and executive vice chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY), where graduate student employees system-wide are unionized under the Communication Workers of America Local 1104 – Graduate Student Employee Union. SUNY recognized its graduate student employees’ union in 1992 and has since successfully negotiated contracts securing basic protections for graduate workers, including guaranteed compensation levels, health insurance, grievance procedures, and workplace health and safety provisions.

It is our sincere hope that Dr. Cartwright will bring this enlightened and constructive approach to graduate student employee labor rights with him to Mizzou. Years of unnecessary conflict have cost University leadership the goodwill of their employees – now is the time for a fresh start. It is clear to us and many campus constituencies that long-term stability and institutional health can only be achieved by good faith bargaining between graduate employees and administration.

Signed,

Coordinating Committee, Coalition of Graduate Workers

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The Coalition of Graduate Workers (CGW) represents the 2,700 graduate employees of the University of Missouri, Columbia. CGW is an affiliate of the Missouri National Education Association.

A Resolution to Establish Archival Policies for Representative Assembly Resolutions — April 27, 2017

A Resolution to Establish Archival Policies for Representative Assembly Resolutions

Resolution #1617-06

A Resolution to Establish Archival Policies for Representative Assembly Resolutions.

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BE IT ENACTED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY HERE GATHERED THAT:

WHEREAS, Transparency in the union’s operations is to be sought wherever prudent to support clear communication and accountability; and

WHEREAS, Representatives may desire to remain anonymous due to a hostile administration, faculty members that oppose graduate employee unionization (who, while rare and distinct from our fierce and valued faculty allies, do exist), or their own personal reasons; THEREFORE, BE IT

RESOLVED by a vote of the Representative Assembly here gathered that Representative Assembly resolutions shall be published in a timely manner on the Coalition of Graduate Workers’ Website if and when such resolutions are passed; and be it further

RESOLVED,  Representatives shall retain the right to choose if and when they reveal their membership in the Coalition of Graduate Workers; and be it further

RESOLVED, That passed resolutions submitted by Coordinating Committee members shall be published with their authors named; and be it further

RESOLVED, That passed resolutions submitted by committees and working groups shall be published with authorship ascribed to said group title rather than its individual members; and be it further

RESOLVED, That passed resolutions submitted by individual representatives shall be published with authorship ascribed to “The Representative from [Department].”

SUBMITTED,

Sarah Senff and Eric Scott, Co-Chairs.

APPROVED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY, APRIL 26TH, 2017.

A Resolution On Setting Forth Election Administration Policies. —

A Resolution On Setting Forth Election Administration Policies.

Resolution #1617-05

A Resolution On Setting Forth Election Administration Policies.

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Nomination Process:

  • A nomination can be submitted electronically, but acceptance of the nomination is required from the nominee at least 24 hours before the election takes place.
  • Nominations from the floor can occur on the day of elections, however the nominee needs to be physically present to accept the nomination.

Election Process

  • Elections shall be held for one position at a time via a secret ballot in the order listed:
  1. Co-Chair
  2. Organizing and Grievance Officer
  3. Financial Officer
  4. Corresponding and Recording Officer
  5. Outreach Officer
  6. Diversity Officer
  7. International Student Affairs Officer
  • Nominees for each position must leave the room during the time ballots are being cast and counted for that position.
  • For each position, candidates shall be given up to 2 minutes to address the General Assembly in support of their candidacy.  If a candidate is not present at the meeting, they may provide a written statement to be read, a video to be played, or designate a proxy to speak on their behalf.  Said materials or proxy must be communicated to the Elections Committee or meeting chair in advance of the meeting.
  • Ballots shall be cast as “one person, one vote,” where each qualified voter casts their vote for one nominee in each position.
  • Balloting will be conducted, per the bylaws Article V, Sections 1, by the Elections Committee.
    • Ballots shall be collected and counted by members of the Elections Committee or their designees.
    • Unsuccessful candidates may opt to run for any number of additional positions downballot
    • Two members of the Elections Committee or their designees must count the ballots and concur on the results.
    • If anyone on the Election Committee assigns designees, they shall be communicated to the meeting chair prior to the start of the meeting.
  • If there are any uncontested ballots after nominations are concluded, the meeting chair may opt to hold a vote of acclamation instead of by secret ballot.
  • In the event that there are no members of the Elections Committee or their designees present, three to five members in good standing from the General Assembly not seeking office, making speeches, or otherwise subject to a conflict of interest will volunteer.
  • In the instance of a tie ballot, the meeting chair shall cast the deciding vote.

Appeals Process:

  • All appeals must be made to the Election Committee in writing and be received no more than ten business days following the election meeting. The appeals shall include evidence for the basis of the appeal. The Election Committee will make every reasonable effort with all parties to resolve the issue.
  • Should this fail, then the Election Committee will forward the appeal to the incumbent co-chairs.

Special Elections Process:

  • If a co-chair resigns at any point between their election and the next regularly scheduled election meeting, an announcement that a special election shall be held must be made to the General Assembly at least one week prior to a General Assembly meeting where an election can occur.
    • The Representative Assembly may nominate and elect an interim Co-Chair.
      • The process for this interim position election is as followed in the General Assembly for a general election.
    • The announcement will indicate that during the special election, both nominations and election of the officer(s) will occur within the same meeting.
    • A special election shall be held at the General Assembly meeting specified in the announcement.
      • The meeting at which the special election will be held shall be the only meeting at which nominations shall be taken.
      • The election shall be subject to all other regulations as specified above.
  • All other position vacancies shall be appointed, per the bylaws Article IV, Section 4, by the Coordinating Committee.

This policy shall be re-addressed by the Elections Committee in the fall of 2017, and re-presented to the Representative Assembly before the following general election.

SUBMITTED,

The Nominations and Elections Committee.

APPROVED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY, APRIL 26TH, 2017.

 

A Resolution to Recognize the Academic Achievements of CGW Members —

A Resolution to Recognize the Academic Achievements of CGW Members

Resolution #1617-09

A Resolution to Recognize the Academic Achievements of CGW Members.

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BE IT ENACTED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY HERE GATHERED THAT:

WHEREAS, Despite the best efforts of many officials within the administration, the University of Missouri remains a distinguished and prestigious institute of higher education; and

WHEREAS, The completion of a graduate degree represents a difficult and commendable accomplishment at the best of times, and a Herculean task amidst the turmoil this campus has experienced over the past two years; and

WHEREAS, In addition to agitating for graduate rights and performing the labor necessary for our University to function, our local association’s members conduct vital research that advances the scholarship in their fields of study; and

WHEREAS, The close of the spring semester is the traditional time of year to celebrate the completion of academic degrees; and

WHEREAS, The bonds of camaraderie and friendship forged through our studies and our struggles lead us to a bittersweet pride in our members’ accomplishments and sadness at their departure; THEREFORE, BE IT

RESOLVED, By a vote of the Representative Assembly here gathered that the Coalition of Graduate Workers does commend and congratulate those members who shall graduate in the spring and summer semesters; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Coalition of Graduate Workers shall remember always the standards for courage, dedication, and solidarity set by those members who joined in the local’s earliest days; and be it further

RESOLVED,  That the Coalition of Graduate Workers shall watch with joy and awe as our graduating members go forth from the University of Missouri and continue to shape a better world for all who come after us.

SUBMITTED,

Sarah Senff and Eric Scott, Co-Chairs

 

A Resolution Regarding the Potential Layoffs of Ranked Non-Tenure Track Faculty —

A Resolution Regarding the Potential Layoffs of Ranked Non-Tenure Track Faculty

Resolution #1617-08

A Resolution Regarding the Potential Layoffs of Ranked Non-Tenure Track Faculty.

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BE IT ENACTED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY HERE GATHERED THAT:

WHEREAS, On April 3, 2017, the University of Missouri System issued a statement regarding “Systemwide Budget Guidance” in response to the potentially severe cuts to the state’s allocations towards public higher education; and

WHEREAS, Within this guidance, the System Administration warned of possible layoffs for staff and non-tenure track faculty; and

WHEREAS, Non-tenure track faculty lack protections held by tenured faculty for employment loss due to budgetary concerns or program closures, and also lack the severance packages and support from Human Resources held by staff members; and

WHEREAS, Non-tenure track faculty make up 44% of all ranked faculty at the University, with an average length of service equaling nearly 11 years, making their lack of employment protections inexcusable; and

WHEREAS, Non-tenure track faculty, along with adjuncts and staff members, face the same precarious employment situation as graduate student employees, with whom they also share the burden of providing most of the undergraduate teaching responsibilities of the University; and

WHEREAS, Non-tenure track faculty members have been key allies in the struggle for graduate employee rights, having participated in numerous actions held by the Forum on Graduate Rights and the Coalition of Graduate Workers; and

WHEREAS, An injustice to one group of workers on our campus is an injustice to all workers; and

WHEREAS, The MU Faculty Council unanimously approved a Resolution on Potential Layoffs of Non-Tenure Track Faculty on April 13th, 2017, detailing a list of provisions to be made by the administration in the event of layoffs due to budgetary considerations, as well as other measures to better the working conditions of non-tenure track faculty; THEREFORE, BE IT

RESOLVED, By a vote of the Representative Assembly here gathered that the Coalition of Graduate Workers does support Faculty Council’s Resolution on Potential Layoffs of Non-tenure Track Faculty without reservation; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Coalition of Graduate Workers does consider non-tenure track faculty to be natural and indispensable allies in the struggle for justice to all workers at the University of Missouri; and be it further

RESOLVED,  That should non-tenure track faculty pursue any further action to organize in pursuit of more just compensation and dignified working conditions the Coalition of Graduate Workers will support them to the best of our ability and stand with them in solidarity, as they have stood with us.

SUBMITTED,

Sarah Senff and Eric Scott, Co-Chairs

APPROVED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY, APRIL 26TH, 2017.

General Assembly Notice, 4/29/17 — April 15, 2017

General Assembly Notice, 4/29/17

The Coalition of Graduate Workers will hold its second and final General Assembly meeting of the semester on Saturday, April 29th, at 11:00 AM in Swallow Hall 101. The meeting is scheduled to conclude by 1:00 PM. Refreshments will be provided.

A full agenda will go out by Saturday, April 22nd. The meeting will include:
-Officer elections for the 2017-2018 membership year.
-GA approval of next year’s dues structure.
-Bylaws revisions.
-Updates on the lawsuit against the university, the university budget, and the status of CGW’s ongoing issue campaigns.

Please nominate candidates for office! Send all nominations to chairs@cgwmissouri.org. Candidates for office must be dues-paying members in good standing.

The following offices are up for election:
-Co-Chair (one two-year term)
-Organizing and Greivance Officer
-Outreach Officer
-Corresponding and Recording Officer
-Financial Officer
-Diversity Officer
-International Student Affairs Officer

For any questions, please contact the chairs, Sarah Senff and Eric Scott, at chairs@cgwmissouri.org.

In solidarity,

-Sarah and Eric

A Resolution to Organize for a Sanctuary Campus Policy — April 6, 2017

A Resolution to Organize for a Sanctuary Campus Policy

CGW Representative Assembly Resolution #1617-04

A Resolution to Organize for a Sanctuary Campus Policy.

CGW_logo-04.png BE IT ENACTED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY HERE GATHERED THAT:

WHEREAS, The graduate employee body at the University of Missouri is a diverse constituency with members of minority and vulnerable populations, including but not limited to international students and undocumented students; and

WHEREAS, Governmental actions in recent months have threatened the health and wellbeing of members of vulnerable populations, such as raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the potential elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, and the so-called “Muslim Ban” executive orders; and

WHEREAS, Movements that call upon colleges and universities to act as Sanctuary Campuses, which seek to protect the health, wellbeing, and livelihoods of vulnerable students, have been founded at approximately 185 colleges and universities; and

WHEREAS, A preliminary Listening Session held on March 15th, 2017, demonstrated strong potential for community support on this issue, which provides an opportunity for the Local to build stronger relationships within the Columbia community; and

WHEREAS, The Missouri National Education Association and the National Education Association have offered support for sanctuary campus organizing, including providing training, resources, and the assistance of an NEA staff organizer; and

WHEREAS, Social justice is a primary tenant of our Local, as established in our Bylaws; and

WHEREAS, It is the moral responsibility of this union to seek protections for all graduate employees of the University of Missouri, including international students, immigrants, and the undocumented; THEREFORE BE IT

RESOLVED, By a vote of the Representative Assembly here gathered, that the Coalition of Graduate Workers shall add the issue of implementing Sanctuary Campus policies at the University of Missouri to its organizing strategy; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the implementation of this policy shall be handled by the Diversity Officer and the International Student Affairs Officer, with the assistance of the other members of the Coordinating Committee; and

RESOLVED, That any Local funding for this campaign shall be drawn from the Organizing portion of the Local’s budget, as approved by the Coordinating Committee.

SUBMITTED,

Eric Scott, Co-Chair

A Resolution to Advocate for a Parental Leave Policy —

A Resolution to Advocate for a Parental Leave Policy

 

CGW Representative Assembly Resolution #1617-03

A Resolution to Advocate for a Parental Leave Policy.CGW_logo-04.pngBE IT ENACTED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY HERE GATHERED THAT:

WHEREAS, Graduate student employees do not currently have access to a policy that provides workplace protections in the event of a pregnancy, birth of a child, or adoption of a child, except for the option to apply for a general medical leave; and

WHEREAS, This lack of a policy leaves graduate student employees open to unreasonable working expectations, such as returning to work only days after a pregnancy, because their positions could be eliminated otherwise; and

WHEREAS, The average graduate/professional student is 34 years old, and the large majority are over the age of 22; and

WHEREAS, Many graduate student employees are therefore forced to choose between having children or maintaining their academic and professional positions; and

WHEREAS, Many graduate student employees who are paid via national fellowships, such as those of the National Science Foundation, would have access to parental leave funds through their fellowships if the University of Missouri had a leave policy, but cannot access these funds due to the lack thereof; and

WHEREAS, The Graduate Professional Council has recently passed Resolution 1617-16, “A Resolution to Advocate for a Parental Policy for All Students and a Parental Leave Policy for Graduate and Professional Students on Assistantship and/ or Fellowship,” outlining the necessity for such a policy; THEREFORE BE IT

RESOLVED, By a vote of the Representative Assembly here gathered, that the Coalition of Graduate Workers does support the speedy implementation of a gender-neutral parental leave policy for graduate student employees; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Coalition of Graduate Workers shall make clear its desire to work with the Graduate Professional Council to pursue the implementation of this policy; and be it further

RESOLVED, That advocating for further protections and benefits for graduate student employee parents shall be part of the local’s organizing and bargaining goals.

SUBMITTED,

The Student Parent Working Group

 

CGW Calls for International Student Protections — January 29, 2017

CGW Calls for International Student Protections

Earlier today, the Coordinating Committee of the Coalition of Graduate Workers sent the following letter to Interim Chancellor Hank Foley of the University of Missouri – Columbia, calling for him to take immediate action regarding President Donald Trump’s January 27th executive order.

 

January 29, 2017

 

Henry C. Foley

Interim Chancellor

105 Jesse Hall

University of Missouri – Columbia

Columbia, MO 65211

 

Coordinating Committee

Coalition of Graduate Workers

PO Box 10265

511 E Walnut St

Columbia, MO 65201

 

Dear Interim Chancellor Foley:

In light of President Trump’s January 27th executive order restricting travel from seven primarily-Muslim countries, we, the Coordinating Committee of the Coalition of Graduate Workers, call upon your administration to take immediate action to protect the well-being and security of international students on the University of Missouri – Columbia campus, especially those graduate student employees from the affected countries of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.

As reported by the New York Times, travelers from the aforementioned countries are already being detained upon entry into the United States, even after securing visas or permanent resident status following an exhaustive vetting process. There is no reason to expect any better treatment for our international students. While we agree that emotional support for our colleagues is important, as was stated in the recent communication from Assistant Vice Provost Jeni Hart, our University also needs to take definitive measures in the defense of its international student community.

Therefore, we call upon you, at a minimum, to issue the following guarantees:

  • That all international student employees shall be informed of their legal rights, including the University’s legal obligations towards them;
  • That the University shall uphold its legal responsibilities in maintaining the continued valid visa status of affected students;
  • That no international student shall face a financial or academic penalty, such as a loss of student status, due to their inability to re-enter the United States as a result of this executive order;
  • That no international graduate student employee shall face a loss of assistantship, fellowship, or other MU-provided financial aid or compensation due to their inability to re-enter the United States as a result of this executive order;
  • That no funding or lab positions shall be cut as a result of visa difficulties resulting from this executive order;
  • That all faculty and staff affected by this ruling shall also have their continued employment protected, and that the tenure process for untenured tenure-track faculty shall not be negatively affected by this executive order;
  • And that the Chancellor’s Office will issue a public statement of support for affected international students, staff, and faculty, including the aforementioned guarantees.

In short, no international graduate student employee should fear a penalty to their academic career as a result of the short-sighted policies of the current federal administration. The same should hold true for other affected University faculty, staff, and students.

We look forward to your speedy response to this letter, and wish to offer your administration any assistance we may be able to render in serving the needs of our international student colleagues.

Sincerely,

 

Coordinating Committee of the Coalition of Graduate Workers

Eric Scott, Chair

Mikkel Soelberg Christensen, International Student Affairs Officer

Julien Grayer, Diversity Officer

Joseph Moore, Outreach Officer

Eric Rowse, Financial Officer

Sarah Lirley McCune, Corresponding and Recording Officer

Sarah Senff, Organizing and Grievance Officer

 

CC:

Rachel Bauer, President, Graduate Professional Council

Zakaria El-Tayash, President, Muslim Student Association

Jeni Hart, Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs

Omid Kamran-Disfani, President, Iranian Student Organization

Leona Rubin, Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies

James K. Scott, Director of the MU International Center

Ben Trachtenberg, Chair, Faculty Council

General Membership Assembly Notice — November 25, 2016