Steward Council Meeting Minutes

October 4, 2018


  • (20 min) Introductions and group agreements: Steward council gets acquainted! Ice-breaker: State name, pronouns, department, and 3 words to describe your research.


      • List group agreements (have people agree). Describe roles and responsibilities of the Steward Council. Let people know that they can get up and move around when needed.
      • Group Agreements: 1 person 1 mic, respect pronouns, make space/take space, assume intent/recognize impact


  • (5 min) Review 2018-19 General Calendar: an overview of major CGE timeline including Fall Term events, additional info on constitutional convention, and changes to Spring social events
  • Calendar:


Fall Term Winter Term Spring Term Summer Term
Weeks 0-1: GE orientations, Welcome Back BBQ Weeks 2-4: Office and house visits Weeks 2-4: Office and house visits New EC, Stewards, and SCO’s take office
Weeks 2-4: Office and house visits Steward skill-building workshop Steward Skill-building workshop Strategic Retreat for next year goals
Steward Retreat and Steward skill-building workshop Next year Steward elections Next year EC and SCO elections New Steward training close to Fall term
New contract ratification vote (if coming off a bargaining year) Annual AFT OR Convention delegate elections Annual AFT OR Convention Finalize next year’s budget (defined by Budget Committee)
1 GMM, 2 SC meetings, and bi-weekly EC meetings Potential new annual OSU Unions solidarity event (SEIU, CGE, UAOSU) Annual Brew Off (to replace Spring BBQ) At least 3 EC meetings
1 GMM, 2 SC meetings, and bi-weekly EC meetings 1 GMM, 2 SC meetings, and bi-weekly EC meetings

Event Announcements:

  • Oct. 9, 7-9pm Trivia Night! Compete for prizes donated by DeMaggio’s Pizza DeMaggio’s Pizza Downtown Corvallis
  • Oct. 19, 5:30-8:00pm General Membership Meeting, and kick-off of ratification vote! Chintimini Senior Center
  • Oct. 25, 4-8pm Constitutional Convention; a public discussion of proposed amendments to our union’s constitution and official kick-off of voting. Westminster House (details in an email from CGE President, Erin Abernethy)
  • Oct. 26, 6-9pm Steward Retreat! We’ll be gathering together for some fun activities and steward development. Lion’s Shelter at Avery Park
  • Oct. 28, 2-5pm OSU Workers Unite! A collaborative social event put on by CGE, UAOSU, and SEIU (all the campus unions) featuring a dessert potluck, line-dancing, face-painting, balloons, and more fun! Appropriate costumes encouraged. Chintimini Senior Center
  • Nov. 1, 5-7pm Thirsty Thursday, get together for some drinks with fellow unionists. Bombs Away Cafe
  • Nov. 8, 5-7pm Steward Council Meeting Westminster House
  • Nov. 15, 6-8pm Movie Night! Westminster House (film TBD)
  • General Announcements:
  • OPT/CPT Credit Requirements: After prolonged pressure from CGE, university will announce changes to minimum credit requirements for international students completing OPT/CPT internships


        • Social Media: Stewards are encouraged to follow CGE on social media including facebook (Coalition of Graduate Employees, housing board, ride share), twitter & instagram (@cge6069)


  • (15 min) Review 2018-19 Strategic Goals: Steward thumb drives include a document named “2018 Strategic Goal final.” Reviewing will give all our stewards an opportunity to see the goals set by our CGE Strategic Retreat team and get a sense of how activities throughout the coming school terms fit into these overarching goals. After reviewing, ask stewards to discuss with a partner about questions that come up for them and what they think are the most important aspects of the goals.


Questions that came up from Stewards:


  • Can all members vote? The kick off of the vote starts in person at above dates, but votes are online, secure and open for a week. Every member gets an email ballot.
  • What is an Active Listening Script? The majority of conversation time with members and nonmembers should be listening to get to root of their needs. More information on this script can be found in Steward Toolkit.
  • Stewards should recruit fellow grad employees from their departments to attend our GMMs. 10% may be too ambitious for underrepresented departments but try to bring at least one person with you. Members and non-members are welcome.
  • What does office mapping mean? Determine where graduate employees are located on campus for each department, but also map out power structures (active members, non-members, anti-unionists, etc).
  • How to reach grad employees who are not located on campus in traditional ways? We conduct house visits week 4 of each term and also send out Hustle texts each term to reach folks who are not on campus.


    • (2 min) Review Consensus: Introduce/discuss decision-making process for steward council, describe question, proposal, and response hand signals.
      • Handouts with the hand signals will be provided at each Steward Council meeting.
    • (5 min) Vote on Pending Stewardships: Steward council will vote on approval of stewards whose appointment has been proposed by executive council. New stewards introduce themselves and say why they are interested in being a steward before the vote.
      • Stewards up for nomination: Rachel Kingsley of Applied Anthropology; David Dubose of Integrative Biology; Brian Zhang of MIME; Aaron Kratzer of Applied Economics; and Sarah Erickson of Mathematics
      • All approved through consensus.
    • (15 min) Steward numbers and empty seats: Review strategic goal for steward numbers and brainstorm ideas for filling in gaps. SCO’s facilitate this discussion with their clusters based on representation within each department in their respective clusters.
      • An extensive list was generated of people who could potential be stewards in underrepresented departments. Stewards should reach out to the people they added to the list and the Executive Council can follow-up with them.


  • (5 min) Membership Blitz and review of Orientations: An update on membership numbers so far, and a review of departmental orientation presentations and upcoming office visits. Ask stewards for feedback.
  • Question came up about any anti-union responses? Not really, but there was one person that pushed back against getting a salary increase because “the money has to come from  somewhere”. Need to explain that OSU is in a position to move money around however they see fit, and our salary increases are not going to damage the financial coverage of other services at OSU
  • International student concerns on joining a union harming their immigration status. They are protected by Federal Labor Law and our Collective Bargaining Agreement to not face discrimination if they join CGE. But we need to be able to build trust and relationships with people before expecting them to believe us.
  • (15 min) Upcoming efforts, workshops, opportunities
  • Sign-up sheets were passed around to join caucuses and committees and to create a language video.
  • CGE Survey: An opportunity for us to get information on what matters to membership
  • Languages of CGE Video: Seeking interested volunteers to help create orientation videos in the multiple languages which make up CGE. (sign-up sheet)
  • Housing Initiative: an overview and how to get involved (sign-up sheet)
  • Other caucuses: any updates from other active caucuses? (sign-up sheets)
  • Steward retreat: Part of the retreat will consist of returning stewards sharing organizing experience and skill building resources (Oct. 26, 6-9pm)
  • OSU Workers Unite: Spread the word to your fellow grads, faculty members, and other workers at OSU by sending an email and posting the flier in offices. This is our chance to start building interunion solidarity on campus. (See announcement above)


      • Grievances workshop (Date TBD Fall Term)


  • (10 min) Budget discussion: Where are we after the loss of fair share dues and with new membership numbers? Per-caps debrief from Clint. Interest in joining budget committee?


      • Clint Mattox (Secretary Treasurer) gave update on our current budget with current membership dues and no more fair share. He also explained the PerCaps reform vote that happened at the AFT-OR Special Convention on September 29th that will effectively save us $40,000 per year in AFT-OR dues. More details will be shared at the next Steward Council Meeting.


  • (2 min) Steward departmental meetings: Westminster House has offered space for Grad tea times on Mondays. Stewards are encouraged to use this for their annual departmental gathering of Grad Employees (as per strategic goals). Sign-up sheet under Steward tab on website
  • (1 min) AFT National membership discounts: Every member now has an AFT National membership card that gets you sweet discounts. Come by the CGE office to pick yours up and encourage other members to do so as well!


  • (15 min) Local political office candidate questionnaire: Review and add or amend questions that CGE will ask the Benton County Commissioner and Corvallis City Council candidates to answer related to labor, OSU, and other matters that affect grad employee life. Their answers will be posted to our website for members to review before midterm elections.

Question that came up: How will we present the answers? Any editing before being posted? No editing, we will publish answers as they are delivered to us.

Consensus decision: Have stewards rank these and pick top 4-5 in the next 2 weeks with an online form. Ask for amendments or additions for first week and then vote ranking for second week.

      • Can you describe a specific policy proposal you might bring forward for dealing with housing affordability and security?
      • What are ways you can see Benton County/Corvallis responding to the ways expansion of OSU affects graduate students?  
      • How have you familiarized yourself with the history and workings of the Board of Commissioners/Corvallis City Council, in order to prepare yourself for this role?
      • How do you balance the needs of workers with fiscal responsibility? (Offer a specific example from your experience where possible.)
        • Potential amendment: How will you address housing shortages for the working class?
      • Can you describe an agenda item in a recent county commissioner/city council meeting that you would have handled differently?
      • If elected, how much of a priority will it be for you to ensure that all workers in Benton/Corvallis receive a living wage and health care?
      • Please describe ways in which you have offered hands on support or active involvement in labor related settings.


  • (10 min) Open Discussion
  • Close meeting and Clean-up