Here are a few of the initiatives that the Berkeley unit of UAW 2865 is undertaking in September. We have endorsed a progressive minimum wage proposal before the Berkeley City Council and signed onto a letter opposing coal exports from Oakland. Two events are coming up later this month that we invite interested members to attend: a “Strategic Planning Conference” in Sacramento on 9/26 geared toward developing this year’s goals for a broad coalition of unions, politicians, and activists working together to fight the privatization of higher education in CA, and a “Stewards’ Council Meeting” on 9/29, for members interested in taking a lead in union organizing within their departments. More details on all of the above follow:
- Berkeley Minimum Wage
The Berkeley unit of UAW 2865 has endorsed a proposal made to the Berkeley City Council to strengthen the recent minimum wage bill, making it one of the most progressive in the nation. These revisions would see the minimum rise incrementally up from $11 this year to $19 an hour by 2020 and follow cost of living increases after that, in addition to cracking down on wage theft and ensuring paid sick days. If you are interested in getting involved in the movement for minimum wage increases, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Stop Coal Exports in Oakland
At our September membership meeting, our Unit voted to sign on to a letter opposing a coal export terminal that has been proposed for development at the former Oakland Army Base. If the project is allowed to proceed, millions of tons of coal would be transported by rail to West Oakland, where it would be transferred to barges and shipped abroad. The local impacts on air quality and the contribution to global warming make this plan bad for our members and for all residents of the Bay Area. If you are an Oakland resident, please send a message to the City Council urging them to reject dirty coal: https://secure.sierraclub.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=15625
- Reclaim CA Higher Education coalition, “Strategic Planning Conference”
Last fall, the UAW 2865 joined undergraduates, faculty, and staff to oppose the Regents’ plan to increase tuition at the UC. The Regents eventually retracted their plan, and the President and Governor Brown negotiated a two year tuition freeze. But our work is just getting started, and we aim to do much more than prevent the status quo from worsening. As a member of the Reclaim CA Higher Education coalition, UAW 2865 is working with labor unions across California to reinstate the Master Plan and establish long-term funding for the state’s three systems of higher education. The coalition has been reaching out to legislators and building its network with other groups working to alter the state’s budgetary priorities. For example, we recently joined CURB, a coalition that works to redirect state spending from incarceration toward reinvesting in public goods. A daylong “Strategic Planning Conference” is taking place in Sacramento on Saturday, September 26th; legislators, labor organizers, and public education activists will work together in a series of panel discussions and break out groups to devise the Coalition’s strategy for 2015-2016. If you would like to be one of our union’s representatives at this conference, please nominate yourself by emailing Erin Greer at email@example.com.
- Steward’s Council Meeting
Stewards are active members who are interested in working in their home departments: organizing meetings, talking with other members to understand their priorities, and signing up new members. A strong steward’s network is crucial to linking common issues and ideas that are happening all over campus, and coordinating with each other to improve our working conditions and our university. If you are a steward, or interested in becoming one, please come to our first Steward’s Council meeting of the semester! Tuesday, September 29 from 5:30-7 at the union office, 2030 Addison Street Room 640.