Here are the meeting minutes from our last Steward Council Meeting.
Steward Council Meeting Minutes 1/16/18
At our first Winter term Steward Council meeting, our stewards drafted the following agenda:
5:50-6:00 Reviewing communication & consensus ground rules
6:00-6:15 Introductions, Department updates
6:15-6:30 Topic 1 — Reviewing changes within Executive Council
6:30-6:45 Topic 2 — Bargaining updates
6:45-7:00: Topic 3 — Janus Decision & Post-Janus Committee
7:00-7:15: Topic 4 — Office visits sign-up
7:15-7:30: Topic 5 — CGE’s alcohol policy
7:30-7:45: Topic 6 — Travel reimbursement question
7:45: Closing statements and next actions
Our Stewards gave updates from their respective departments.
Some departments may be giving appointments to incoming graduate employees instead of continuing employment for existing grads. This will be brought up in future meetings with OSU.
There is still miscommunication among some departments about the ability to provide hourly work for graduate employees and non-graduate workers. For more information or to get clarity on the matter, contact our staff organizer Alex Riccio at email@example.com.
Some of our members desire a way to send anonymous updates over potential workplace problems to avoid being identified by employers. While not helpful for filing grievances, such reports could be useful for gathering statistics or testimony on types of problems being faced by graduate employees in the workplace. We are trying to think of ways to accomplish this, and our Stewards are open to suggestions.
Topic 1: Our Executive Council is considering changing the name of the EC and the title of officers. Since our EC is non-hierarchical, the feeling is that titles such as President and Vice-President convey an idea of our union as being top-down instead of bottom-up in governance. The Stewards wished to clarify whether these name changes would also come with a change in how the EC conducts itself and its officer roles, to which representatives from the EC explained that these name changes would actually reflect better what’s already in practice- not the other way around. Such changes to the EC require a constitutional amendment voted on by the general membership, and could be opened at a future General Membership Meeting.
Topic 2: Our Bargaining Team has submitted ground rules to OSU management, and are waiting for an agreement. The BT has a pending conference call with OSU to discuss Ground Rules and a schedule for bargaining sessions. These updates will be made public as soon as they occur. Until then, Stewards are encouraged to talk to their department folks about our Bargaining Platform and how to get plugged in- send emails to Hazel Daniels at firstname.lastname@example.org or Alex Riccio at email@example.com for more info (don’t use an OSU email account please).
Topic 3: Right to Work (for less) laws are made to attack unions. The Supreme Court in late Spring will make Right to Work a national standard, which undermines the membership, funding and efficacy of unions. We have ambitious goals to prepare for these laws: 1) increase membership to 80% by June, meaning we need to add 350 members to our union. 2) Make ourselves more visible. Put your Proud CGE Steward placards in a visible place for people to know just who makes up CGE. 3) Fight for our community through housing initiatives and food security. 4) Win big this year in Bargaining!
Our Stewards also want to learn more about why folks choose not to be members, and whether we can get better numbers on demographics. As well, our Stewards want us to improve how we message about just what CGE 6069 is and our gains through time as many folks do not know intuitively that we are a labor union and a distinct entity from OSU- we’re not a social club, we’re the vehicle for improving the quality of our own lives as workers!
The Stewards approved the creation of a Right to Work committee that dedicates itself solely to developing plans and strategies for organizing in preparation for Right to Work- any that wish to be a part of this committee can contact our VP Organizer, Mohammad at firstname.lastname@example.org
Topic 4: Sign up for office visits or phone banking here: https://goo.gl/forms/ZLCTu4dlJI2T7Wqd2
Topic 5: After much discussion, our Stewards decided that our General Membership Meetings shall not have alcohol but that we will organize a Social Hour after our GMMs for folks to be able to get drinks and connect with each other outside of that meeting space. Our next GMM is Feb. 7, and the Social Hour plans are TBD. Regarding the Fall BBQ, suggestions to offer beer and cider but not hard liquor were discussed, but voting was postponed for a later Steward Council meeting.
Topic 6: Our Stewards approved our mileage rate of reimbursement to $0.55 a mile, matching the IRS standard.
The next Steward Council Meeting is Feb. 20 at Westminster House (5:30 food/6:00 business)!