This is the official dissent statement by the 7 (of 16) members of the bargaining team who voted against sending this for a ratification vote. It is also available (original).
We write you today as members of our union’s Bargaining Team to dissent strongly against the decision to send management’s offer to ratification. Out of sixteen Bargaining Team members, seven of us voted to reject management’s offer and to continue negotiations. We feel strongly that management’s offer is inadequate for the following reasons:
- Management’s insulting wage proposal of a 3% increase is not even close to the financial relief our members need to afford things like rent, utilities, food, and other bills. Furthermore, management has done little to ensure that our members have access to affordable housing and affordable childcare.
- Management’s proposed committee on policing does not seriously address the issues of police brutality on our campuses or the unauthorized surveillance of our members. The proposed contract language offers a meeting to which we are already entitled, and which does not take police brutality seriously as a problem. Our members cited this issue as a top priority in their bargaining survey and deserve better.
- Management’s side letter on immigration does little more than lip service in stopping ICE from coming to our campus, and does not provide student workers with enough leave time for any immigration related process, such as visa renewal. Our original language provided the maximum legal protection, and provided extensive paid leaves for frequently long term immigration hearings.. We proposed fee remission for international students, and stipends for student-workers who lose their work authorization, such as DACA/TPS recipients. Our members deserve the maximum in these challenging political times.
Rather than accept this proposal, we should escalate this Fall and build towards a strike. During our last round of negotiations, our union’s strike activity doubled management’s supposed final wage offer. Withholding our labor is the single best way that our union can win the important demands our members need: the UC works because we do.
According to our union’s informal straw poll conducted last week, half of all respondents indicated they were already prepared to strike for a better deal. Hence, we were stunned that some members of the Bargaining Team would dismiss the willingness to fight expressed by so many workers, instead ramming through a contested and mediocre deal.
Although we hear concerns about our union’s financial solvency and the need to grow membership, we believe that escalating our activity and building towards a strike will grow our membership and energize a new generation of organizers.
Now is not the time to settle. We ask that you join us to VOTE NO on ratifying management’s offer and instead to organize with us to win the demands we deserve.
Email us at UAW2865DontSettle@gmail.com to learn more and get involved.