[Parentsgroup-list] Testimonials for Union Bargaining Meetings

David Romney dromney at fas.harvard.edu
Wed Nov 14 09:51:31 EST 2018


This is a good opportunity for me to bring something up in relation to the
Union. I too have been worried about a lack of focus on student-parent
interests. Not that the union doesn't mention them at all - there are many
beneficial policies outlined in the bargaining goals, and some of the
representatives explicitly state family-friendly policies as a goal. But
representation of actual student-parents is dismal. There is no
committee/working group on student-parent interests. I forwarded along the
results of our survey (including many of your comments about difficulties
with childcare, healthcare, etc.) to the union, but it's unclear to me if
those results are being fully taken into account.

I reached out to one of my friends in the union who mentioned that one way
to better ensure our interests are being represented is to form a
committee. There are currently Time's Up, Civil and Human Rights, and
International Student committees (scroll down to "our committees" at
http://harvardgradunion.org/), but there is not one for student-parents,
even though parental benefits is certainly should be a primary focus of the
bargaining committee. You may have seen in recent emails from the union
focus on specific concerns of the Time's Up committee - meaning that at
least that committee is successfully getting its interests prioritized, and
this might be a useful route for us as well.

It would be fairly easy to start a student-parent committee. My friend
mentioned that there is support for forming a working group/committee on
student parent interests among those on the organizing committee. The way
to get the ball rolling on this is to bring it up at the next organizing
committee meeting. That committee meets weekly on Mondays from 6-8pm in
CGIS S450 (I know, the time is not very convenient for parents...). There
is a dial-in number for the meetings, although I'd imagine especially for
an initial meeting with them we would want to be there in person.
Additionally, there is an HGSU-UAW slack channel which provides members
with updates and through which we could let the Organizing Committee know
about attendance at upcoming meetings to make sure discussing this is on
the agenda.

With my involvement with this group currently, I don't have time to devote
to meeting with the Union, but I would LOVE to connect a couple of people
who would be willing to work on this with the union and get the ball
rolling. I'd be happy to attend at least the first meeting. I think this is
an important priority. I know that members of our group held a variety of
views on the union before the vote, and our group did not take an official
stance on it (and still doesn't). However, the ongoing bargaining is a
reality and we ought to make sure the outcome is favorable to those our
group represents (who are about 5% of the GSAS population!), and I really
hope some of you can step forward and help out with this. Please let me
know if you are interested so that I can forward your information to the
appropriate people and get you connected.

David Romney
PhD Candidate, Department of Government, Harvard University

On Wed, Nov 14, 2018 at 9:25 AM El-Sharif, Farah <felsharif at g.harvard.edu>

> Dear Student Parents,
> I know a lot of us have supported the Union by voting for it, but
> unfortunately there is ZERO committee representation for student-parents'
> interests. To remedy this, I reached out to the organizers.
> I learned there is not a single student parent on the bargaining
> committee.  Therefore, we can't just assume our interests are being
> represented. I know a lot of us are extremely busy with our kids and other
> responsibilities, but I think it's imperative we consider voicing our
> concerns (again) in the CRUCIAL bargaining meetings taking place this fall.
> The Union committee has been very eager to hear from more student-parents,
> so please see Aaron's emails below and reach out to him directly if you
> would like to give a testimony.
> In solidarity,
> Farah
> ps. make sure to sign the petition below too!
> ---------- Forwarded message ---------
> From: Aaron Bekemeyer <aaronbek at gmail.com>
> Date: Mon, Nov 12, 2018 at 3:32 PM
> Subject: Briefing Part 2: Seeking Testimonials
> To:
> Hi organizers,
> We have one additional item this week, an *open call *from the Bargaining
> and Organizing committees *to hear student workers' personal stories
> of how Harvard's policies & practices around issues of discrimination and
> harassment have failed them.* Given that Harvard's current negotiating
> position is that discrimination and harassment should not be "grievable"
> under the union grievance procedure, we are especially interested in
> stories relating to the failure of Title IX, diversity, and other internal
> offices in resolving these issues and supporting student workers.
> We are looking for:
> a) student workers who can tell their stories *in person* at the
> bargaining session on December 3rd
> b) student workers who can submit signed testimonials that we can *read
> out loud* at the bargaining session on December 3rd
> c) student workers who can submit *anonymous testimonials* that we can
> read out loud at the bargaining session on December 3rd
> Student workers who are potentially interested in sharing their stories
> can sign up to talk to a #TimesUp committee member *using this form*
> <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__docs.google.com_forms_d_1P3uFP1fA3P8dc9MlXq5WLlMpZNGjCGr8t81Z3XgEwUQ_viewform-3Fedit-5Frequested-3Dtrue&d=DwMFaQ&c=WO-RGvefibhHBZq3fL85hQ&r=laesaRDJFDG21Cgny8zsveC03LEeRtSwXKsxgSpDqa4&m=WJB85PK4j_vlJm7FL5RG3uaI_l_RwhWmtz-rEkQv7Co&s=WNgc8nH2g3LEQn5EkAklg7NxHgc2o689BLo8F82hWxg&e=>
> .
> In solidarity,
> Aaron
> On Mon, Nov 12, 2018 at 2:11 PM Aaron Bekemeyer <aaronbek at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hi organizers,
>> A week ago today, the Bargaining Committee held their 2nd meeting with
>> the administration. Admin continues to respond with dismissiveness and
>> counter-proposals that don't build in the protections against
>> discrimination, harassment, and bullying that we need. Our task now is to *educate
>> *student workers across campus and to *build our power* to win a strong
>> contract as soon as possible. For details on how we're doing that, read on!
>> *Action Items*
>>    - *PETITION!
>>    <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__harvardgradunion.org_contract-2Dnow_&d=DwMFaQ&c=WO-RGvefibhHBZq3fL85hQ&r=laesaRDJFDG21Cgny8zsveC03LEeRtSwXKsxgSpDqa4&m=WJB85PK4j_vlJm7FL5RG3uaI_l_RwhWmtz-rEkQv7Co&s=UWh5TlUq5MmdAJsQEENiXCTiavDxcrCSSz_98Fvi0NY&e=> *Admin
>>    has yet to agree to meet with us for enough time to negotiate a strong
>>    contract in a timely manner. So we spent the last week laying the ground
>>    work for a petition calling for more bargaining time, establishing or
>>    strengthening leadership in *every department and program*. This
>>    week, *the petition goes live*. It's time to get a majority of our
>>    unit on this petition to show admin that people are paying attention and
>>    willing to take action to move negotiations forward.
>>    - *If you haven't signed yet, add your name now! *
>>       - *Talk to student workers in your department*. Petition
>>       signatures are an inherently valuable signal to admin, but they should also
>>       represent one-on-one conversations we have with our fellow student-workers.
>>       Our task is to educate folks on where we're at, connect the issues they
>>       care about to the bargaining process, and explain how important democratic
>>       engagement is to winning a strong #ContractNow.
>>       - *OC MEETING:* Join us tonight (at *5:45 PM* this week), and if
>>    you don't know where we meet, ask me! We'll continue to discuss the
>>    petition and strategies for getting a majority of members to sign it.
>>    - *TRAININGS: *If you're interested in learning more about the
>>    petition and organizing in general, join us after tonight's OC meeting for
>>    an *organizing training at 7pm*. RSVP here
>>    <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__docs.google.com_forms_d_e_1FAIpQLScOSMylrTdltWL4DRSMRrSSAeDCwiQ8oUfCZca0XyK4diTVZA_viewform-3Fvc-3D0-26c-3D0-26w-3D0&d=DwMFaQ&c=WO-RGvefibhHBZq3fL85hQ&r=laesaRDJFDG21Cgny8zsveC03LEeRtSwXKsxgSpDqa4&m=WJB85PK4j_vlJm7FL5RG3uaI_l_RwhWmtz-rEkQv7Co&s=kE2eaoTYUa5bvrRZklQMEoe8QmYYPdsrvulEj_qTxJk&e=>
>>    .
>>    - *SPLIT FIFTHS:* If you or anyone in your department is teaching
>>    split fifths (i.e., one section each for different classes), please contact
>>    Ege Y (egeyumusak at gmail.com), who's tracking this for bargaining
>>    purposes.
>>    - *STAFF:* You can join! We are still looking for 4 paid 20 hour/week
>>    staff organizers, as well as for 40h/week staff organizers. Please contact
>>    jgilbert at uaw.net if you or anyone you know is interested. If you have
>>    any questions about the position, feel free to reach out to current staff
>>    members like Hannah (hannah.ozmun at gmail.com), Lisa (
>>    lisa.l.xu at gmail.com), Camille (camille.traslavina at gmail.com), or
>>    Belle (bcheves at gmail.com).
>> *Committees*
>>    - *Communications*: If you’re good at Facebook and/or Twitter, have
>>    ideas about how to improve our website, or generally love communications
>>    and media, we need you! Email Lisa (lisa.l.xu at gmail.com) to get on
>>    our team.
>>    - *Civil & Human Rights*: Email hgsu.chrc at gmail.com to get in touch.
>>    - *International Scholars Working Group*: Please contact Fan-Yun (
>>    flan at g.harvard.edu) for more information.
>>    - *Mental Health & Academic Life*: Contact Erik (ebaker at g.harvard.edu)
>>    or hgsumentalhealth at gmail.com to learn more.
>>    - *Time’s Up*: If you want to organize more directly on issues
>>    related to gender- & sex-based discrimination, harassment and assault,
>>    contact the Time’s Up Committee organizers. We are working on projects such
>>    as building a campus-wide action network, researching contract provisions
>>    and existing practices, and creating educational resources. To get
>>    involved, contact harvardtimesup at gmail.com
>> *Around Town*
>>    - In solidarity with striking Unite Here Local 26 workers at several
>>    Marriott hotels downtown, HGSU-UAW and SLAM are putting on a *Teach-In
>>    *this *Thursday, Nov 15, *at *4:30-6PM *in the *Phillips Brooks House
>>    Association (PBHA) Parlor Room*, located in the northwest corner of
>>    the Yard. Please RSVP on the Facebook event
>>    <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.facebook.com_events_525817084554807_&d=DwMFaQ&c=WO-RGvefibhHBZq3fL85hQ&r=laesaRDJFDG21Cgny8zsveC03LEeRtSwXKsxgSpDqa4&m=WJB85PK4j_vlJm7FL5RG3uaI_l_RwhWmtz-rEkQv7Co&s=-eNsSdQNVibe6w1le4au1fqrU3pxXmUZWnS_W8FO2wE&e=> and
>>    invite your friends!
>>    - If you haven't done so yet, make a *pledge* not to cross the picket
>>    line at Marriott hotels and to call on Harvard to do the same:
>>    onejob.org/Harvard
>>    <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__onejob.org_Harvard&d=DwMFaQ&c=WO-RGvefibhHBZq3fL85hQ&r=laesaRDJFDG21Cgny8zsveC03LEeRtSwXKsxgSpDqa4&m=WJB85PK4j_vlJm7FL5RG3uaI_l_RwhWmtz-rEkQv7Co&s=lFuNaBdOkfMnx5Ms-oiNojgymItNJusfD0GIc0zp_DQ&e=>
>>    - *Boston College* is refusing to negotiate with the BC grad student
>>    union. Consider signing their petition
>>    <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__docs.google.com_forms_d_e_1FAIpQLScVMim2NWioCwu37ssv7y937vg4xuNbKu-5FJTabcXdRaYwflYw_viewform&d=DwMFaQ&c=WO-RGvefibhHBZq3fL85hQ&r=laesaRDJFDG21Cgny8zsveC03LEeRtSwXKsxgSpDqa4&m=WJB85PK4j_vlJm7FL5RG3uaI_l_RwhWmtz-rEkQv7Co&s=WhtKwx1vD1khRoXlOc4D59EZp5ISM77h7hSwWrcCMNA&e=> as
>>    a community/union ally to call on the BC administration to respect their
>>    right to bargain.
>> *Shout-outs to:*
>>    - All department leaders who signed the bargaining time petition!
>>    - Lisa X for working hard on button designs.
>>    - Belle C and Tim B for attending the Greater Boston Labor Council's
>>    honoring of Marty Walsh this past Friday.
>>    - Erik B for joining staff!
>> See you tonight at OC!
>> In solidarity,
>> Aaron
>> --
>> Aaron Bekemeyer
>> Ph.D. candidate, Harvard University
>> Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan 2013
>> University of Michigan 2012
> --
> Aaron Bekemeyer
> Ph.D. candidate, Harvard University
> Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan 2013
> University of Michigan 2012
> --
> PhD Student
> Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
> Harvard University
> 6 Divinity Ave, Room 106. Cambridge, MA 02138
> felsharif at g.harvard.edu | 510-779-8818
> _______________________________________________
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