Hello everyone and greetings from PSU-AAUP. I hope this finds you all well. The groundhog says spring is here. At least we know spring term is on the horizon!
Instead of a narrative, I will line up our happenings, not in any particular order of importance. We’re busy, of course, as are all of you. Sorry to not see you in January.
1) We are bargaining and about to wrap up our work on Academic Professionals’ workload and other working conditions. We’ll soon move into economics and Howard Bunsis will be back to be with us at the table in the morning of Thursday, February 25th. He has been communicating with administration about his numbers and we look forward to getting to money and to finishing up the contract in early March.
2) The Graduate Employees Union went public on February 1. It was a grand event. A large group walked over to the President’s office. We are glad that this process is out and we look forward to supporting our colleagues in their efforts to form a union and work for a fair contract.
3) Our organizers and members are working on preparation for Friedrichs, yet we wonder how this might look in light of the death of a Supreme Court member we know does not like unions. I think it is way too early to know or to toot our horns. We are asking members to sign recommit cards and we are building an active group of committed unit reps who will be meeting with their colleagues over the next few weeks. We had a very well attended membership meeting on February 10.
4) President Wiewel and our Board of Trustees has decided to try and get a payroll tax on the November ballot that would collect around $35 million each year for eight years for PSU. This tax would be for businesses in the Metro region at the rate of one-tenth of one percent. Will keep you posted. We are waiting to see the exact wording of the ballot measure, consult with our sisters and brothers on campus, and consider our role in this process.
Take care all. Hoping the rest of winter quarter goes smoothly.