Coalition of Graduate Workers

Grads Make Mizzou Work!

A Policy Establishing Rules for Observer Status at Representative Assembly Meetings. — February 14, 2018

A Policy Establishing Rules for Observer Status at Representative Assembly Meetings.

Resolution 1718-05

A Policy Establishing Rules for Observer Status at Representative Assembly Meetings.

The following rules shall apply to the Representative Assembly meetings:

  • All general assembly members in good standing are granted automatic non-speaking observer status at representative assembly meetings.
  • In keeping with CGW’s commitment to supporting graduate student families, all children and dependents of General Assembly members in good standing shall be granted automatic non-speaking observer status.
  • MNEA and NEA staff shall be granted automatic observer status.
  • Individual representatives may use their annual block to revoke the observer status of one individual observer for a single meeting.
  • Non-speaking observers may be granted speaking status at the discretion of the Head Representative.
  • Observers are not allowed to participate in the consensus decision-making process.
  • Individuals granted observer status may have this observer status revoked, for a period of time determined by the body, on consensus of the RA.

SUBMITTED,

The Rules Committee.

APPROVED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018.

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General Membership Meeting, 2/17/18 — February 3, 2018

General Membership Meeting, 2/17/18

CGW will hold a General Membership Meeting on February 17th, 2018, at 10 AM in Swallow Hall 101. The meeting is scheduled to last until 11:30 AM. The agenda can be found here.

Of note, at this meeting we have requested that a representative from our attorneys appear to answer questions from our members about our lawsuit against the university. Richard von Glahn from our partners at Missouri Jobs with Justice will be there to tell us about the CLEAN and Raise Up Missouri campaigns. Finally, we will plan our spring campaign of actions leading up to our court hearing on April 20th.

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. Please let us know if you have any dietary or accessibly needs that we can meet.

Please contacts us (chairs@cgwmissouri.org) with your questions. We look forward to seeing you!

In solidarity,

Simona Simkins and Eric Scott

Co-Chairs

A Resolution for the Local to Sign the “Real Recourse” Petition. — November 8, 2017

A Resolution for the Local to Sign the “Real Recourse” Petition.

Resolution #1718-04

A Resolution for the Local to Sign the “Real Recourse” Petition.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY HERE GATHERED THAT:

WHEREAS, A number of the Coalition of Graduate Workers’ fellow graduate employee union locals have created petition demanding university administrations recognize and bargain with their graduate bodies’ elected exclusive representatives; and

WHEREAS, This petition specifically notes that union grievance procedures would provide a “real recourse” for students who have been sexually harassed or assaulted during the course of their graduate programs; and

WHEREAS, Our local continues to be unrecognized by the University of Missouri System, despite the overwhelming support shown for CGW in the union representation election of April 2016, leaving us in a similar position to our fellow locals circulating this petition; and

WHEREAS, Issues of gender equality, protection from sexual harassment and assault, and the need to secure a grievance procedure that fairly represents the interests of the employee outside of institutional bias are just as pertinent to our constituents as they are for our fellow locals; and

WHEREAS, Among the goals of our local are the principles of Collective Representation and Bargaining, Community and Solidarity, and Social Justice, all of which are advanced by this cause; THEREFORE, BE IT

RESOLVED, By a vote of the Representative Assembly here gathered that the Coalition of Graduate Workers will be a signatory to the “Real Recourse” petition, whose text is provided in Appendix A; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Outreach Officer shall draft a statement, to be approved by the Coordinating Committee, that shall affirm our local’s commitment to gender equity and fair representation and renew our demand for recognition and bargaining from the University of Missouri System Administration.

SUBMITTED,

Simona Perales Simkins, Co-Chair

Eric Scott, Co-chair.

Zach Rubin, Head Representative

APPROVED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY, NOVEMBER 8, 2017.

 

Appendix A:

Text of the “Real Recourse” Petition

To: President Joseph Aoun (Northeastern), Lee Bollinger (Columbia), Robert Brown (Boston University), Drew Faust (Harvard), William Leahy (Boston College), Jo Ann Rooney (Loyola University Chicago)

From: [Your Name]

Dear President Joseph Aoun, President Lee Bollinger, President Robert Brown, President Drew Faust, President William Leahy, President Jo Ann Rooney, and any other administrators opposing graduate worker unionization:

A recent American Association of Universities (AAU) study shows that nearly half of women experience some form of sexual harassment or assault during their graduate programs. Trans and gender non-conforming people experience harassment at even higher frequencies. While some of these cases make national headlines, most do not. Unfortunately, universities’ existing mechanisms for addressing these cases have too often failed to achieve justice and will likely become even weaker under the Trump/Devos administration.

Thousands of graduate research and teaching assistants are currently organizing at your universities, in part because a contractual union grievance procedure can establish a system where those who have been assaulted and/or harassed have a better chance of achieving justice. Through the grievance procedure, individuals could have the right to take an unresolved sexual harassment dispute to a neutral arbitrator rather than a university administrator, freeing them from having to fight for justice amid potential institutional bias or find the resources to hire a lawyer and go through the courts.

While half a dozen private university administrations, including Cornell, NYU and The New School, have agreed to respect democratic unionization votes and bargain with RAs and TAs, a small number of university administrators have refused. At Columbia, for example, the administration refuses to bargain despite an overwhelming 72% vote in favor of unionization. The ongoing opposition to unionization by some academic administrators not only blocks democracy, but also blocks the ability of RAs and TAs to negotiate stronger protections against sexual harassment, a major barrier to true gender equity in our universities and a major reason RAs and TAs organized for unionization.

As we mark the one year anniversary of Trump’s election to the presidency, we urge you to stand with your students and workers by respecting the democratic process, bargaining with their chosen unions and helping to advance gender equity in our universities.

Source: https://www.realrecourse.org

A Policy to Amend the Budget Procedure Policy. — September 14, 2017

A Policy to Amend the Budget Procedure Policy.

Resolution #1718-03

A Policy to Amend the Budget Procedure Policy.

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BE IT ENACTED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY HERE GATHERED THAT:

WHEREAS,  At the meeting of the General Membership in February of 2017, that body passed a policy regarding the creation and approval of the local’s annual budget; and

WHEREAS,  According to that policy, the local’s budget is to be drafted by a Budget Committee and ratified by the Representative Assembly; and

WHEREAS,  That policy specified that the annual budget should be submitted to the Representative Assembly prior to the first business meeting, whereupon it would be ratified or amended; and

WHEREAS,  In practice, this timing led to a lack of clarity as to whether the local was authorized to spend money on vital organizing activities at the beginning of the semester, such as the Rally for Graduate Rights and tabling at Orientation; and

WHEREAS,  Having a solid understanding of financial authorization at the beginning of the academic year is necessary for the continued growth of our local; THEREFORE, BE IT

RESOLVED, By a vote of the Representative Assembly here gathered that the Coalition of Graduate Workers shall amend the Budget Procedure as follows in Appendix A below.

SUBMITTED,

Arianne Messerman, Organizing and Grievance Officer

Eric Scott, Co-Chair

APPROVED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY, SEPTEMBER 13TH, 2017.

APPENDIX A: Language Changes

Original language to be changed is struck throughNew language is bold.

Budget Procedure

PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to establish a regular procedure for the drafting, revision, and implementation of the Local’s annual budget.

PROCEDURE

  1.  A Budget Committee shall be formed each fiscal year from members of the Local’s Representative Assembly and chaired by the Local’s Financial Officer. The following officers shall be members of the Budget Committee ex officio: the Financial Officer; the Local’s Co-Chairs; and the Head Representative of the Representative Assembly. There must also be at least two additional members who are not part of the Coordinating Committee.
  2. Prior to the first final scheduled meeting of the Representative Assembly each academic year, the Budget Committee shall prepare an initial budget to be used in the following academic year for the Local. This initial budget shall be distributed to the members of the Representative Assembly by the Head Representative not less than one week prior to the Representative Assembly’s first final scheduled meeting.
  3. Approval of the budget shall be taken up as a business item at the first final scheduled meeting of the Representative Assembly each academic year.
  4. Final authority to amend and approve the budget rests with the Representative Assembly.
A Resolution in Support of DACA Students —

A Resolution in Support of DACA Students

Resolution #1718-01

A Resolution in Support of DACA Students.

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BE IT ENACTED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY HERE GATHERED THAT:

WHEREAS, The Coalition of Graduate Workers is founded on the protection and empowerment of vulnerable populations; and

WHEREAS, CGW has a past history of stating support for foreign-born students in the face of statements and policies from government officials that threaten removal from the country or worse; and

WHEREAS, Students and many foreign-born persons presently protected by the “Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) immigration policy of the Federal Government face hardship and trauma in the event that said policy is rescinded; and

WHEREAS, Students, and all persons born on foreign soil in the University of Missouri community and beyond, are owed due process and the protections of basic human decency; THEREFORE, BE IT

RESOLVED, By a vote of the Representative Assembly here gathered that the Coalition of Graduate Workers opposes the removal of the protections afforded by DACA; and

RESOLVED, that CGW supports the passage of the DREAM Act before Congress; and

RESOLVED, that CGW strongly urges the University of Missouri to protect said students, offering them any and all resources that would help prevent them from being removed from the country and therefore losing out on the education they have rightly earned; and

RESOLVED, that CGW shall continue efforts to protect foreign-born students, that they may profit from their efforts at bettering themselves through higher education, and materially contribute to the state of Missouri and The United States through said pursuits.

SUBMITTED,

Arianne Messerman, Organizing and Grievance Officer

Zach Rubin, Head Representative

APPROVED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY, SEPTEMBER 13TH 2017

CGW General Membership Meeting, 9/23/17 — September 9, 2017

CGW General Membership Meeting, 9/23/17

This is a notice that CGW will hold its first General Membership Meeting of the semester on Saturday, September 23rd, at 10 AM in Tate Hall 022 (otherwise known as Tate Auditorium.) We anticipate the meeting will be finished by 11:30 AM.

We’re covering a few things at this meeting. In addition to reports from your officers, we will elect our representatives to the MNEA Representative Assembly, discuss the accessibility of the general membership meetings, and have a breakout session facilitated by our co-chair, Simona Simkins.

The agenda is available here.

All CGW members are strongly encouraged to attend the General Membership meeting. CGW is a democratic, member-driven organization, and the General Membership meeting is one of the cornerstones of that effort. The Coordinating Committee is focusing on making the General Membership meetings more engaging and useful to our members this year, and we would appreciate any ideas or feedback you might have.

Refreshments will be provided. As always, we welcome and encourage members with children to bring them to the meeting.

3rd Annual Rally for Graduate Rights — August 13, 2017

3rd Annual Rally for Graduate Rights

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The Coalition of Graduate Workers invites you to our third annual Rally for Graduate Rights! Every year we kick off the fall semester with a reaffirmation of our principles and a rededication to organizing the MU community. As our University faces unprecedented budget challenges, it’s now more important than ever for graduate workers and their allies to show up, ready to work for a better Mizzou.

Wear red! (We’ll have CGW t-shirts at the event if you don’t have one.) And bring creative signs!

The march route and speakers will be posted as we get closer to the rally.

INVITE AND SHARE WIDELY, especially to new graduate students! This event is open to all members of the MU and Columbia community.

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

###

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.