Coalition of Graduate Workers

Grads Make Mizzou Work!

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.

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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

 

Establishment of a Procedure for Introducing Proposals Before the Representative Assembly — March 1, 2017

Establishment of a Procedure for Introducing Proposals Before the Representative Assembly

Policy 1617-01:

Establishment of a Procedure for Introducing Proposals Before the Representative Assembly.

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Proposals, to include resolutions, internal policies, and referenda, must be submitted to the Agenda Setter [Head Representative or their designee] at least seven days in advance of a scheduled meeting of the Representative Assembly in order to be included on the agenda.

Proposals may be introduced into the agenda by the following methods:

  1. Proposals may be introduced by a Co-Chair or the Head Representative without further sponsorship.
  2. Proposals may be introduced by a recognized Working Group or Committee without further sponsorship, provided that the legislation is pertinent to the Working Group or Committee’s charge, as judged by the Head Representative.
  3. Proposals may be introduced to the Body by the sponsorship of three or more Representatives.

The agenda setter must publish the meeting agenda at least six days in advance of a scheduled meeting of the Representative Assembly.

Establishment of Standing Orders for the CGW Representative Assembly —

Establishment of Standing Orders for the CGW Representative Assembly

 

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Internal Policy Proposal #1617-02:

Establishment of Standing Orders for the CGW Representative Assembly.

The Standing Orders of the Representative Assembly shall proceed according to Modified Consensus, as described below, except where superseded by the Bylaws of the local or or by policy enacted by the Representative Assembly:

Consensus shall mean that all are in agreement with a proposal, minus up to 3 people dissenting.

Proposal Steps

  1. Proposal is introduced by facilitator, who may also ask the creator(s) of the proposal to present and provide background and context to the group.
  2. The facilitator shall test for initial consensus. This may include questions and answers, but not modifications to the proposal.  If everyone is in agreement with the proposal as written, it passes.  
  3. If there is no initial consensus, the facilitator shall lead discussion regarding any unresolved concern. They shall then hear commentary from members of the Assembly one at a time based on the order in which the speaker asked to be recognized. This shall avoid any back and forth, and the facilitator shall call on people not yet heard, giving everyone a chance to speak before allowing someone to speak twice on a concern or topic.

    1. To prevent one or two voices from dominating the discussion, all members of the Assembly shall have the opportunity to speak once before allowing anyone to speak a second time.  
    2. If a member of the Assembly has a question about clarifying a previous statement, the facilitator may move them to the front of the speaking order. In order to clearly differentiate between requests to speak about a concern and questions about previous, the facilitator will provide a different signal for each.
  4. Discussion and Amendments – The proposal will be displayed for all to see (for example, on the projector at the front of the room) and will be amended by the facilitator as directed by the Assembly.  Amendments to the proposal may be made preliminarily when the concern is raised, or formulated at the end of discussion. Once a concern is resolved, the facilitator may ask for consensus, and if no further concerns are raised, the proposal passes.
  5. If consensus is not reached, points 3 and 4 above are repeated with each individual concern until all are resolved, or the individual holding the concern consents to allow the proposal to go through.
  6. Temperature checks – The facilitator may test for a sense of where the RA stands on a particular question, to be answered through hand gestures of those present.

    1. For example, a thumbs up may mean yes, a thumbs down may mean no, and a sideways thumb may mean neutral (which does still indicate readiness to consent).
    2. Anyone in the group may call for a temperature check at any time, though it is at the discretion of the facilitator to do so. The note taker shall note results of the check only in general terms.
    3. In consensus procedure, it is common to have silent or near silent cues for group reaction, such as lightly snapping one’s fingers when one approves of something that has been said.
  7. Standing Aside – Because modified consensus procedure does not require total agreement of every member of the Assembly, some members may disagree with a proposal. When a member disagrees with a proposal, but does not feel strongly enough about its passage to “block” it (as defined in the next item), they shall be considered to be “standing aside.”
  8. Blocking – A member shall be considered “blocking” if they continue to reject a proposal when all other members’ concerns have been resolved. In a consensus decision-making process, blocking is the equivalent of a veto and should be considered only as a last resort when a proposal is seen as dangerous to the core mission and functioning of the union. Its use should be rare and the emphasis of discussion on finding ways to work together. As such, any member of the Assembly may block a proposal once per academic year.
  9. Return to Sender – As an alternative to blocking, a proposal can be sent back to the entity that submitted it to the agenda. This process shall be the same as outlined in steps 3 and 4 for amending the proposal, except the amendment to return to sender will end further amendments.
  10. Reflexive Practice – Meetings shall conclude with time allotted for members of the Assembly to discuss what went well, and proposals for improvements at future meetings.

 

Further Background:

http://www.consensusdecisionmaking.org/#TheBasics

http://faculty.stevenson.edu/jlombardi/consensus_model.html

A Budget Proposal Policy — February 19, 2017

A Budget Proposal Policy

Policy #1617-00

A Budget Proposal Policy

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 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 final scheduled meeting.
  3. Approval of the budget shall be taken up as a business item at the final scheduled meeting of the Representative Assembly each academic year.
  4. Final authority to amend and approve the budget rests with the Representative Assembly.

SUBMITTED,

Eric Rowse, Financial Officer

Eric Scott and Sarah Senff, Co-Chairs

APPROVED BY THE GENERAL MEMBERSHIP OF THE LOCAL, FEBRUARY 18th, 2017.

Note: This policy was enacted by the General Membership, as the Representative Assembly had not yet formed at the time this policy was introduced.

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