Coalition of Graduate Workers

Grads Make Mizzou Work!

General Membership Meeting, 5/5/18 — April 21, 2018

General Membership Meeting, 5/5/18

CGW will hold a General Membership Meeting on May 5th, 2018, at 10:00 AM in Swallow Hall 101. The meeting is scheduled to last until 12:00 PM. The agenda can be found here. A full packet containing officer reports and other meeting materials will be provided to members via email on April 28th and on paper at the meeting. If you have other business you would like added to the agenda, please contact the chairs with your request by Thursday, April 26th.

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Standing with our attorneys after presenting our case against the University of Missouri Board of Curators.

We have two main points of business at this meeting: first, to review our spring escalation campaign leading up to the court hearing on April 20th, and second, to elect the 2018-19 Coordinating Committee. Nominations can be made either from the floor or (preferably!) via email to Zach Rubin, the ex officio Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee. Please provide the name of the person you are nominating and the office for which you are nominating them. Self-nominations are welcomed.

The following officers will be elected at this meeting:

      1. Co-Chair (one two-year term)
      2. Organizing and Grievance Officer
      3. Financial Officer
      4. Corresponding and Recording Officer
      5. Outreach Officer
      6. Diversity Officer
      7. International Student Affairs Officer

Descriptions of the officer positions can be found in our Bylaws.

As always, we will have breakfast before the meeting!

We are committed to making our meetings as open and accessible as possible. Children are welcome. Let us know if you have any dietary or accessibly needs that we can meet, and please contact us with your questions. We look forward to seeing you!

In solidarity,

Simona Simkins and Eric Scott, Co-Chairs

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This is It: #WeAreWorkers Rally Tomorrow! — April 19, 2018

This is It: #WeAreWorkers Rally Tomorrow!

JOIN THE COALITION OF GRADUATE WORKERS AT NOON ON FRIDAY, APRIL 20TH, OUTSIDE THE BOONE COUNTY COURTHOUSE TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR WORKERS’ RIGHTS!

Official hashtags: #WeAreWorkers and #RecognizeMe

Facebook Event Page

Two years ago today, graduate workers at the University of Missouri overwhelmingly chose to form a union: our union. And for two years, the University of Missouri has denied our constitutional right to organize and collectively bargain. Tomorrow, CGW finally has its day in court to argue for our democratic rights – and we need you to be there! The decision in this case could impact all graduate student employees at public institutions in Missouri.

CGW’s power comes from our organization, our members, and our allies in the community. We are asking for you to take the time out of your day to join us outside the Boone County Courthouse on April 20th at noon for a rally in advance of the court hearing, which begins at 1 PM. Those who wish to observe the hearing will be able to file into the courthouse afterwards.

If you are a graduate worker, CGW’s work matters for you. We began organizing in 2015 after the University’s disastrous attempt to take away our health insurance guarantee on less than a day’s notice. Because of our organizing, graduate employees not only still have health insurance, but the lowest-paid grad workers have seen a 50% raise. If we can collectively bargain with the university, we can protect those gains with a contract that lets you know exactly what to expect in terms of compensation, benefits, and working conditions – and we can press for action on issues like protections for international students, support for student parents, and lower fees.

If you are not a graduate worker, our struggle matters to you, too. Our employer is denying us a constitutional right using logic that appears nowhere in Missouri law. No boss should be allowed to do that. Every worker deserves equal treatment under the law and the right to organize.

We need every supporter we have in our community to join us on April 20th at noon outside the Boone County Courthouse. It’s a demonstration of our collective will and solidarity. This is the most important thing CGW has done since we held our recognition election in 2016, and with your help, we will win. We hope to see you there!

Note that while the hearing is open to the public, cell phones are not allowed inside the courthouse. (We will have a volunteer to hold your phone if you forget, but it’s better just to leave it at home.) And don’t forget: Wear Red!

A Resolution Regarding the Closing of Graduate Programs. — April 11, 2018

A Resolution Regarding the Closing of Graduate Programs.

Resolution #1718-13

A Resolution Regarding the Closing of Graduate Programs

BE IT ENACTED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY HERE GATHERED THAT:

WHEREAS,  the Task Force on Academic Program Analysis, Enhancement and Opportunities recommended closing 27 graduate programs including Agricultural Education, Art History & Archaeology, Classical Studies, Nuclear Engineering, Romance Languages, Biochemistry, Medical Pharmacology & Physiology, Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, Nutrition, Pathobiology, Rural Sociology, Applied Mathematics, Clinic & Diagnostic Sciences, Dispute Resolution, Personal Financial Planning, and Religious Studies, which includes programs vital to the interdisciplinary work conducted by members of the CGW bargaining unit; and

WHEREAS, the interconnectedness of scholarship and of graduate education means that program closings have wide-reaching deleterious effects on scholars outside the programs at risk of being closed; and

WHEREAS, the data provided by Academic Analytics, which was instrumental to the recommendation to close 27 programs, has justifiably been called into question by the general faculty body; and

WHEREAS, times of dire financial straits are not justification for acting hastily and violating the rights of university workers; and

WHEREAS, the ideals of self-governance necessitate that faculty and graduate students have a say in policies that directly impact them; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Stephen Karian set forth a petition requesting an opportunity for faculty to voice displeasure to the Chancellor about the task force process, resulting in a general faculty meeting held on March 5, 2018 to address these potential program closures, wherein the faculty passed a motion calling for greater transparency and accountability in this process; THEREFORE BE IT

RESOLVED, by consensus of the representatives here gathered that the Coalition of Graduate Workers supports the motion proposed by Dr. Andrew Hoberek and passed by the general faculty on March 5, 2018, which calls for an opportunity to correct inaccuracies and calls for budgetary justification for all department closures or mergers and job cuts that primarily affect already vulnerable non-tenure-track faculty; and be it further

RESOLVED, that, in addition Dr. Hoberek’s call for faculty input, the Coalition of Graduate Workers calls on the administration of the University of Missouri to provide for meaningful input by graduate students moving forward; and be it further

RESOLVED, that, in the event of any program closures or reorganizations, CGW calls upon the University to honor the offers of employment originally made by their initial academic units; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Coalition of Graduate Workers opposes the continued budgetary cuts imposed on the university by the Missouri legislature and by Governor Greitens that have precipitated the proposed closings; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Coalition of Graduate Workers calls on Chancellor Cartwright and all other administrators to uphold the university core values of Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, and Excellence by refusing to respond to the aforementioned budget crises rashly and without key information, which would hurt individual MU community members in the short term and the entire MU community in the long run.

SUBMITTED,

The Representative from the Department of English, Zach Rubin, Head Representative, and Eric Scott, Co-Chair

APPROVED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY, APRIL 11, 2018.

 

A Resolution to Honor the Former Officers of the Forum on Graduate Rights and the Coalition of Graduate Workers. —

A Resolution to Honor the Former Officers of the Forum on Graduate Rights and the Coalition of Graduate Workers.

Resolution #1718-12:

A Resolution to Honor the Former Officers of the Forum on Graduate Rights and the Coalition of Graduate Workers.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY HERE GATHERED THAT:

WHEREAS those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it; and

WHEREAS in the early days of the movement for graduate rights at the University of Missouri there were many who contributed to the movement’s initial success and continued resilience; and

WHEREAS without the efforts of these individuals, the Coalition of Graduate Workers may never have formed at all; and

WHEREAS thanks to the organizing efforts of these individuals, the collective power of the graduate workers at the University of Missouri was translated into material gains that will benefit generations of future graduate workers; and

WHEREAS though not all of these people went on to be a part of our Local’s membership, still we are indebted to their contributions; and

WHEREAS since the Local is soon to hear the legal decision that will determine its future, it is therefore right and proper to remember at this time the people who have brought us to this point; THEREFORE BE IT

RESOLVED that the Coalition of Graduate Workers recognizes and honors the contributions, sacrifices, and efforts of the following individuals:

-The original Steering Committee of the Forum on Graduate Rights: Kristofferson Culmer (chair), Kenneth Bryant, Briana Kille, Matt McCune, Carrie Miranda, Eric Scott, Mike Sickels, and Hallie Thompson; and

-The second Steering Committee of the Forum on Graduate Rights: Kristofferson Culmer (chair), Laura Arnold, Jason Entsminger, Ronnie LaCombe, Connor Lewis, Joseph Moore, Linh Ngo, Eric Scott, Sarah Senff, Alex Smith, Colleen Young, and Anahita Zare; and

-The interim Coordinating Committee of the Coalition of Graduate Workers: Connor Lewis (co-chair), Eric Scott (co-chair), Badger Johnson, Timothy Love, Sarah Lirley McCune, Heather McCrae, Joseph Moore, Mark Nicolais, Eric Rowse, and Sarah Senff; and

-The first Coordinating Committee of the Coalition of Graduate Workers: Connor Lewis (co-chair), Eric Scott (co-chair),  Mikkel Christensen, Julien Grayer, Sarah Lirley McCune, Joseph Moore, Eric Rowse, and Sarah Senff; AND BE IT FURTHER

RESOLVED that for so long as our local endures, it shall strive to continue the work begun by these individuals, and seek to do well by their legacy.

SUBMITTED,

Eric Scott, Co-Chair.

APPROVED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY, APRIL 11th, 2018.

 

A Resolution to Continue the Local’s Membership in Missouri Jobs with Justice. —

A Resolution to Continue the Local’s Membership in Missouri Jobs with Justice.

Resolution #1718-11

A Resolution to Continue the Local’s Membership in Missouri Jobs with Justice.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY HERE GATHERED THAT:

WHEREAS Missouri Jobs with Justice is a coalition of community, labor, student, and religious organizations in communities across the state of Missouri dedicated to showing mutual support for the member organizations’ actions and campaigns; and

WHEREAS the signature tactic of Jobs with Justice is its “Be There” pledge, in which members pledge to appear in solidarity with the causes of other member organizations five times per year; and

WHEREAS the Coalition of Graduate Workers has participated in a Mid-Missouri organizing committee for Jobs with Justice since the autumn of 2016; and

WHEREAS prior to the establishment of the Representative Assembly, the General Membership Assembly of the Local approved an official affiliation of CGW with Missouri Jobs with Justice in 2017 during its budget approval process; and

WHEREAS the Local’s affiliation with Missouri Jobs with Justice has allowed CGW to make valuable alliances with other community, labor, and religious organizations, many of whom have in turn supported us during our campaigns for graduate employee rights; and

WHEREAS CGW Co-Chair Simona Simkins participated in Jobs with Justice’s Leadership Training in the fall of 2017 and found it valuable for the development of leadership within our Local; and

WHEREAS CGW’s participation in Missouri Jobs with Justice has given our members opportunities to participate in solidarity actions for other organizations, as well as important electoral and ballot initiative work; THEREFORE BE IT

RESOLVED that the Coalition of Graduate Workers shall continue to maintain its affiliation with Missouri Jobs with Justice, including paying annual membership dues and sending a representative appointed by the Co-Chairs to the Mid-Missouri Organizing Committee’s meetings; AND BE IT FURTHER

RESOLVED that members of the Coalition of Graduate Workers shall be regularly informed of Missouri Jobs with Justice activity by the Outreach Officer; AND BE IT FURTHER

RESOLVED that members of the Coalition of Graduate Workers will be encouraged to take the Jobs with Justice “Be There” Pledge; AND BE IT FURTHER

RESOLVED that each incoming Co-Chair shall participate in the Jobs with Justice Leadership Training, with cost for this training to be paid for by the Local.

SUBMITTED,

Simona Simkins and Eric Scott, Co-Chairs.

APPROVED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY, APRIL 11, 2018.

 

A Resolution to Recognize the Academic Achievements of CGW Members. —

A Resolution to Recognize the Academic Achievements of CGW Members.

Resolution #1718-10

A Resolution to Recognize the Academic Achievements of CGW Members.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY HERE GATHERED THAT:

WHEREAS, The University of Missouri remains a distinguished and prestigious institute of higher education; and

WHEREAS, The completion of an advanced academic degree is a noteworthy accomplishment, worthy of recognition; and

WHEREAS, While our members spend much of their time performing the labor necessary for the University of Missouri to operate, they also produce research whose breakthroughs contribute to knowledge across the academy; and

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

WHEREAS, As we struggle together, so too must celebrate together; 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 graduate in the 2017- 2018 academic year; and be it further

RESOLVED, That while the Local will miss these members as they leave our institution, we look forward to hearing about the achievements they make as they go forward in their lives and careers.

SUBMITTED,

Simona Simkins and Eric Scott, Co-Chairs.

APPROVED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY, APRIL 11, 2018.

 

A Resolution to Honor Zach Rubin for his Role as Head Representative. —

A Resolution to Honor Zach Rubin for his Role as Head Representative.

Resolution #1718-09

A Resolution to Honor Zach Rubin for his Role as Head Representative.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY HERE GATHERED THAT:

WHEREAS, The heart of the labor movement is the belief that workers should have the ability to democratically make decisions about their own labor and their own working conditions; and

WHEREAS, A strong union is one where decisions are made by the will of the membership, rather than by the fiat of an executive or an administrator; and

WHEREAS, In the Coalition of Graduate Workers, the will of the membership is expressed through this Representative Assembly; and

WHEREAS, Zach Rubin, the representative from the Sociology Department’s membership, was twice elected as Head Representative of this body, first in the Spring of 2017 and then in the Fall of the same year; and

WHEREAS, Under the leadership of Mr. Rubin, the Representative Assembly has produced policies for the Local that have clarified its mission, developed its tactics, and empowered members to take active roles in guiding the course of the Local; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Rubin has consistently pressed for procedures that make the Representative Assembly more welcoming and inclusive to all its members; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Rubin has shown an indefatigable enthusiasm for the Local and continues to be one of its most active organizers; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Rubin plans to, at long last, graduate from our institution, and thus end his eligibility to continue serving as Head Representative of the Local’s Representative Assembly; THEREFORE, BE IT

RESOLVED, By a vote of the Representative Assembly here gathered that the Coalition of Graduate Workers does commend Zach Rubin for his countless contributions to our Local’s success; and be it further

RESOLVED, The Representative Assembly expresses its gratitude to Mr. Rubin for his leadership in building and developing this body; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Coalition of Graduate Workers wishes Mr. Rubin success in his future plans, and looks forward to news of his accomplishments from wherever his path takes him next.

SUBMITTED,

Simona Simkins and Eric Scott, Co-Chairs;

Arianne Messerman, Organizing and Grievance Officer;

Joseph Moore, Outreach Officer;

Eric Rowse, Financial Officer;

Sukhvinder Shahi, International Student Affairs Officer;

And the Representatives from Art History, the School of Visual Art, Biological Sciences, English, the Division of Applied Social Sciences, Psychological Sciences, Mathematics, Communication, Journalism, Political Science, and History.

APPROVED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY, APRIL 11, 2018.

 

Policies for General Assembly Elections. — March 14, 2018

Policies for General Assembly Elections.

Internal Policy Proposal #1718-08

Policies for General Assembly Elections.

The following changes and additions are hereby made to the elections process for the General Assembly:

  • Given the inherent difficulties with casting electronic ballots anonymously and synchronously with a General Assembly meeting, members must be physically present in order to cast a ballot for elected positions in the General Assembly.
  • For elected position with two or more open slots (as, for example, with representatives to the MNEA Representative Assembly), General Assembly members shall cast their ballot for as many names as there are positions open.
    • These ballots shall be cast and counted without regard for ranked choice.  The top vote earners among all votes cast shall be considered the winner.
    • This shall not apply to elections for co-chair, should the need to elect two co-chairs at a meeting arise, as these shall be elected separately as individual positions.
    • If the number of members running is equal to the number of open positions, the meeting chair may opt to hold a vote of acclamation instead of by secret ballot.
    • In the case of a tie, a runoff election shall be held for the number of open slots that remain.  This process shall start with the highest tied vote earners, and progress down the vote tally ranking until all positions are filled.
  • If any contingencies occur which are not explicitly addressed in this policy or Resolution #1617-05, the Elections Committee will create and deploy a plan in situ that resolves the contingency in the best spirit of the Union bylaws. In such an event, said plan will be discussed for effectiveness at the next meeting of the Representative Assembly.

SUBMITTED,

The Nominations and Elections Committee.

APPROVED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY, MARCH 14, 2018.

 

A Resolution Setting Forth Policies on the Election of Representatives. —

A Resolution Setting Forth Policies on the Election of Representatives.

Resolution 1718-07

A Resolution Setting Forth Policies on the Election of Representatives.

  • To make for better communication between the Representative Assembly, Coordinating Committee, and individual departments and programs, the term of a department representative shall be recognized by the Representative Assembly from August 1st to July 31st, though departments and programs may elect representatives on their own schedules and terms.
    • Departments or programs shall communicate the election of new representatives to the Head Representative and Co-Chairs in a timely fashion.
    • Should departments or programs be divided or consolidated, the Representative Assembly will recognize the number of Representatives the department or program is eligible for on August 1st of the academic year in question.
  • Represented units are encouraged to nominate representatives for the following academic year in the spring in order to coordinate new graduate student orientation and outreach in the fall.
  • Given the natural course of a graduate student employee’s academic career, term limits for representatives are not necessary.

SUBMITTED,

The Rules Committee.

APPROVED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY, MARCH 14, 2018.

Reference Material:

Bylaws Article VI.2

Section 2        Composition and Requirements

  1. All Representatives must be dues-paying members within the bargaining unit.
  2. Each Department or Program with workers within the bargaining unit will have the right to nominate one Representative to the Representative Assembly.
  3. Represented units have the right to determine procedure for nominations, provided it accords to one person, one vote, and ensures that all Representatives have a plurality of voted support of dues paying members within their represented unit.
  4. Disputed representation may be appealed to the Representative Assembly, which will render a decision by majority vote. The disputed Representative, if already sitting, will not be eligible to vote.
  5. If it is unclear whether a Department or Program has the right to nominate a Representative, it will be deliberated and ruled upon by vote by the Representative Assembly.
A Policy Establishing Guidelines for Membership Participation in Working Groups and Committees. — February 14, 2018

A Policy Establishing Guidelines for Membership Participation in Working Groups and Committees.

Resolution 1718-06

A Policy Establishing Guidelines for Membership Participation in Working Groups and Committees

The following shall apply henceforth to the standing orders of the Representative Assembly:

  • Representatives are strongly encouraged to join and participate in working groups and committees, but there is no set requirement for joining them.
  • The Head Representative shall recruit for additional membership for working groups and committees. Solicitation for membership in committees and working groups shall be a standing item on the General Membership Assembly agenda.

A list of best practices for coordinators of working groups and ad-hoc committees shall be generated and updated as necessary by the Rules Committee.

SUBMITTED,

The Rules Committee.

APPROVED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018.