In attendance: Thomas Morrill, Stephanie Parreira, Vance Almquist, Clint Mattox, Chris Mihiar, Zhian Kamvar; Ashley Bromley, Angela McClendon
Meeting called to order at 5:30 PM
Minutes from 8-3-2015 Meeting – Approved.
Email Decisions – (1) Approved $100 solidarity donation to Mizzou grads to help them buy t-shirts for their organizing action. (2) Approved $100 for lunch for locked-out steelworkers in Albany. (3) Approved blog post re: Mizzou grads. (4) Approved open letter to UM chancellor re: Mizzou grads. (5) Approved all-member email re: sick leave survey. (6) Approved all-member email re: sick leave survey reminder. (7) Approved all-member email re: Brew-Off! (8) Approved all-member email re: AFT-Oregon survey. (9) Approved updated budget and exploding pie on website. (10) Selected Lauka Associates for the FY 14-15 audit. (11) Approved Steward email re: August 3 EC meeting notes.
Paid Sick Leave Bargaining Update – (Vance is filling in for BT member Laura who couldn’t make it tonight.) We had a session yesterday morning. The discussion revolved around the admin team’s lack of wanting to have explicit language referring to Medical & Family Leave. CGE may have convinced them that we at least have to reference the policy to explain how that interacts with paid sick leave. First met a week ago Wednesday, and at that time they were very agreeable about what we could do. Viki even said we could try payout to solve issues around paying for summer health insurance. On Friday, they started telling us why none of those things would work. OSU has a bargaining team that can really only make proposals that are pre-approved, and those approval meetings haven’t happened yet. They have “creative solutions” they can’t share yet because they aren’t approved yet. Core interests: (1) plan benefits all employees (including RAs who usually flex hours); (2) ability to apply paid sick leave to longer term medical & family leave; (3) ability to donate leave to other employees; (4) funding structure that doesn’t create incentives to pressure people not to take leave. Vance: we want to avoid financial hardships in particular departments because people take leave and also avoid detailed hour recording. We’re bargaining again tomorrow at 2 PM in the MU Board Room, then the next Wednesday, September 2, from 10-12.
Audit Update – We have received an audit engagement letter from Teresa McGuire, CPA at Lauka Associates. Chris signs it on behalf of the EC. Angela is working on getting documents to Teresa, who is planning to meet with Angela & Ashley next Thursday, September 3, at 10:30 AM. Officers are of course welcome to join if they’re interested.
AGEL Update – Chris and Ashley had a good meeting with Dana (GTFF) and Yonna (AFT) to discuss the framework for the Fall AGEL conference here at the end of October. Out-of-staters fly into Portland Thursday; we’ll have a social event and homestays in Portland Thursday night. We’ll be doing home visits for the PSU grad organizing campaign on Friday. Then we’ll spend Friday night in Corvallis. Saturday we’ll have workshops on campus here. Saturday night is the Brew-Off! Then folks will go home Sunday. Logistics we need to work on are mainly transportation and homestays. The AGEL committee will continue working on these.
AGEL Call Recap – Chris participated in this on August 6. The main topic of conversation was AFT’s upcoming project to educate AGEL members about AFT. They also talked about organizing related to loss of fair share.
Organizing Task Force Call Debrief – Thomas participated in this call with AFT-OR folks. The point of the task force is to “reeducate” locals on how to organize maximum membership ahead of the Supreme Court’s potential 2016 decision to disallow fair share for public employee unions. Thomas plans to attend their Portland-regional organizer training on October 4. They’ll have other organizer trainings in other regions as well, including in Eugene. They’ve asked us to send anyone we want to Portland (especially) and/or Eugene.
Ed Ray Meeting – This is on September 4 at 1 PM. We have a couple agenda items we’d like to talk about. (1) Domestic partner health insurance benefits treated as taxable income (while spouse benefits are not treated as income). Ashley is in email conversation with David Blake about this. (2) A significant fee charged to students for using credit/debit cards for OSU payments. (3) October 1 start date check-in. Attendance: Thomas, Clint, Zhian, Stephanie, and/or possibly Kris.
Orientations! – Vance and Ashley met yesterday to talk about organizing.
- We’ll plan to have the organizer training at 5:30 PM on Tuesday, September 15. We’ll serve pot pies for dinner. We want as many Stewards as possible to participate.
- Grad School Orientation: This is on Monday, September 14. Tabling happens from 11:30 to 1 and we need 4 people. Stephanie will email the Stewards for participants. The CGE panel happens from 3 to 3:30 and we’re planning to have Thomas, Zhian, Stephanie, and Chris speak at this.
- TA Orientation: This is on Friday, September 18. We’ll need one speaker to give a 5-minute CGE summary (probably Thomas!), then we need a big group (around 8) to circulate among the lunch tables. Stephanie, Vance, Thomas plan to attend; Stephanie will also email the Steward council.
- Department Orientations: Ashley is now recruiting Stewards to speak at their programs’ orientations. Vance and Ashley have made some small adjustments to the orientation lit.
Brew-Off! – “We have to spend money to make money, and we’re in the spending money phase.” The Brew-Off committee is about ready to order t-shirt blanks. We expect that 125 shirts will cost $1,300. The EC approves purchasing the shirts.
SWAG – Ashley has researched some costs for various promotional items: shirts, pens, and customized sticky notes. We have $6,100 in the promo budget this year. The EC approves purchasing 200 shirts for about $2,750. The EC approves purchasing 1,000 pens for about $690. The EC approves purchasing 1,000 sticky note pads (50 sheets/pad) for $1,025. The EC approves purchasing 1,000 CGE Member stickers for about $210 (the little round ones that go on your ID card).
T-Shirt Design Contest – We received over 100 votes! The winner is the CGE-in-Oregon-frame design. There were a couple suggestions from the voters for improvements, which Ashley will work on.
Policies & Procedures –
- Approve binder: The EC approves the updates to the Policies & Procedures binder that Thomas, Ashley, and Angela have been working on.
- Sign individual officer policies: The Conflict of Interest, Whistleblower, and Document Retention policies have all been signed (except by Kris, who was unable to attend tonight). The Debit Card policy has not yet been signed because we need to talk with the bank about changing our account settings back to what we’d originally had. (For some reason, and apparently without our input, our debit account now has an overdraft protection link to our checking account, which defeats the purpose of having a limited-funds account. The EC agrees that this is not what we want for the debit account.) Chris will talk to the bank, and when it’s corrected the EC will revisit this policy.
Database Update – We’ve heard from Janella that AFT-Oregon’s planned database commission will not be happening after all (costs too much and wouldn’t be ready until next year). They’ll now be using Knack (like we are!), at least until AFT National gets their new database built.
Steelworkers Solidarity – Members of the steelworkers union at Allegheny Technologies Inc (ATI) have been picketing after 2,200 workers have been locked out of their jobs in 6 states, including one plant in Albany. Ashley, Nikki, Thomas, and Gloria went to stand with them earlier this week and delivered the sandwiches the EC approved over email. The EC approves Ashley spending some of her work time on the picket line for the short term, but they’re not comfortable making a decision of that size for the longer term and would put it to the general membership. It’s possible the lockout will continue for many months. If the steelworkers haven’t been able to resolve their contract conflict yet by late October, we’ll invite someone from the Albany local to speak at our GMM.
University of Missouri Grads Solidarity – Mizzou grad employees were told on August 14 that their health insurance subsidies would be discontinued, effective immediately, due to noncompliance of the university’s method with IRS rules. After much outcry, the university has postponed their action and (having received the IRS’s short-term okay) will continue providing the subsidies for this school year. However, the grads are still organizing and planning actions around several other grievances they have with their employer, with potential unionizing being part of their conversation. There’s also been some conversation with Yonna about inviting Mizzou grads to AGEL (probably pending AFT’s expense approval to fly them out). This would be cool!
Future Meetings – Officers should send their schedules (as well as they know them) to Ashley.
All-Member Email(s) – There are a few things we want to get out in a digest email soon: Brew-Off reminder (especially for brewers), insurance rates changing this fall, impact bargaining schedule, and Welcome BBQ date. Ashley will write this for approval. Stephanie will also email specifically about the bargaining sessions to the Stewards to ask them to turn out people from their areas.
Meeting adjourned at 7:00 PM. We don’t have the next meeting scheduled yet.