1. "Adjuncts and low-wage workers have the potential to be some of our strongest allies in the struggle for campus equity as they are some of the most directly affected by the corporatization of the university, and solidarity between these members of the community and students is crucial to creating a more democratic and just university."
    — 

    David Fernandez, an organizer with UVM Students Stand Up.

    Awesome work students are doing in Vermont, building bridges and working in solidarity with low-wage workers at colleges across the state.

    (via 518labor)

     
  2. It’s time to bowl! 

     
  3. Hungry?* Have Some Work to Do? Come to the Holiday Work Party in the CC. At 1:15, we gather to present our Holiday Wish List for Living Wages! 

    There’s some tricky rules about food, so we can’t have it on the CC tables, according to Scott Birge (who saved that morsel until yesterday evening, though UA was informed for weeks) who is the Director of Campus Center Management. But we’re eating, y’all.

     
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  5. Members of the Graduate Student Employees Union/CWA 1104 (GSEU) and Adjuncts Instructors from the United University Professions (UUP) joined forces on Halloween for a Grade-In to raise awareness around their low wages and often unmanageable class sizes. GSEU & UUP members showed up to grade papers, review research and prep for their classes—all in an effort to remind President Jones and the entire SUNY Albany administration that Contingent Labor—Graduate & Teaching Assistant, as well as Adjunct labor, are essential to the function of our universities because contingent labor makes up about 39% of all credits taught at SUNY Albany. 

    "I am a GA teaching 120 students right now and I did the math, my stipend pays me $60 per student for the entire semester. Doesn’t the University at Albany administration think our students are worth more than that?" said Nicole D’Anna, GSEU Chief Steward & 4th year PhD student in Sociology

    Contingent labor often teaches the foundational courses across departments, making them the first contact for undergraduates entering SUNY Albany, but they are compensated so poorly many take on second jobs.

    Vincent Commisso, a Political Science adjunct in the process of writing his dissertation offered his experience of working at a nearby cafe while teaching, “I get paid more to make sandwiches for my students than I do to teach them in a college course. Our universities are broken.”
     
    When most folks think of university education, poverty-level wages for campus educators and support staff don’t come to mind but that’s what thousands of GTAs and Adjuncts are facing in the SUNY system. The average pay per course is $2,800 for adjuncts and around $13,000 per year for GTAs. The Self-Sufficiency Wage for 1 adult in Albany County is around $22,000.  
     
    The event ran for 3 hours and the dozen or so folks who showed up during the first 30 minutes had taught nearly 3,000 students total in their time at SUNY Albany. 
     
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  7. Last semester, President Jones agreed to do a forum with the student body every semester. We want to see members come out and voice the issues that you face as a graduate student employee. So far, we’ve identified length of funding, maternity and paternity leave, increased availability of childcare, and living wages for all GTAs and adjuncts as some topics for discussion. 

    What issues are you facing? Can you relate to some listed above? Come out on November 4 to let yourself be heard!

     
  8. The Call-In script has been updated! Find the new script below: 

    "Hello, my name is _________. I am calling for Mike Volforte. I am a graduate student employee at SUNY and a member of GSEU. I am calling to thank Mr. Volforte for agreeing to a window of dates for GSEU’s contract negotiations. If he is unavailable, would you please tell him we will keep calling until the first meeting date is set? We look forward to negotiations after far too long without an updated contract." 

    Our call-in day here at SUNY Albany is still Tuesdays!

     

  9. SUNY Albany UUP Offers Committee Spots to GSEU members!

    We have been working hard over the past year to build better relationships with the other campus unions. United University Professions (the union for faculty and professional staff) have spearheaded that effort and they’ve invited us to participate in their committees to make our efforts twice as useful because we’re pooling resources + knowledge. 

    Committees Are, for now (bold has been filled): 

    Women’s: Focuses on gender equity issues within the university, will be doing research into SUNY Albany’s practices and history on issues like hiring, promotion, tenure, etc. 

    Contingent Concerns: Mobilizes and seeks to address concerns for contingent faculty & staff (adjuncts, part-timers, etc.) Example of some work from SUNY New Paltz.

    Health & Safety: Identifies and seeks to address health & safety concerns on the job. Ex. Request university restrict smoking spaces to ensure cigarette smoke isn’t vented into buildings/classrooms

    Contact us at albany1104@gmail.com if you’re interested!

     

  10. This year, GSEU is participating in Campus Equity Week, Oct. 28-Nov. 2, in solidarity with adjuncts and to further solidify the connection between our labor and theirs, we will be tabling a few days that week in front of the Campus Center. Come see us!

    We have been working on a labor visibility video project across the state and we’ll be collecting your video testimonials during our tabling, too.

    Stop by our table during that week! We have a special event in mind which will likely happen on Halloween. More details on that coming soon. 

    Want to help table? Give a testimonial? Get involved in planning our Halloween event? Email albany1104@gmail.com or call or text our organizer Angelica at 518 209 5231.