Worker Power, Edition #2

Student Workers Make Action Plan At General Meeting

Time to get mobilized and bargain a strong contract!

A photograph of many student-workers sitting at tables during the general meeting.

This past Saturday, at our weekly General meeting, we introduced the union’s bargaining priorities: 1) higher wages across campus and an end to current pay tiers, 2) recourse against workplace discrimination and harassment, and 3) job protections including Just Cause employment and establishing Grinnell as a sanctuary campus. With 75 members in attendance, workers discussed the bargaining priorities in small groups, including potential structures or reforms to consider as we negotiate the contract. After a productive discussion, all resolutions of the three priorities were unanimously affirmed.

We introduced the proposed roster for the bargaining team, on which members voted to affirm. With growing momentum, it’s important now more than ever to present a united front through collective action to pressure the College to bargain in good faith. This includes workers organizing consistent meetings among themselves, more workplace stewards across campus, and more member involvement with the organizing team and subsequent actions.

We know Grinnell will put up a fight against these resolutions. To win these priorities, we need to remain united in our efforts to fight for better working conditions. We need engagement and support from all student workers on campus to ensure a just, strong contract.

Vote on UGSDW Resolutions

UGSDW members! Check your email for a link to a Google Form to vote absentee on the resolutions we put forth on our bargaining priorities at our General Meeting this past Saturday, 9/10.

Photograph of Ada Mehl

Ada Mehl, Class of 2024, Library Worker

“I’m passionate about the union because of the unfair labor practices that the College engages in. When Burling and Kistle workers returned to work this year we were forced to sign a piece of paper enforcing zero use of personal electronic devices while working. The College went through with this knowing that by law they must bargain with the union before enacting any material workplace changes. This illegal change is just a fraction of what the Grinnell administration has done to undermine student workers on campus.”

Become a Steward!

We need Stewards in every workplace! Stewards are in charge of leading workplace meetings so student workers can get together, share issues they are having, and ensure the bargaining team is representative of what student workers need. Workplace meetings allow us to mobilize workers to take action! Reach out for a how-to resource packet we made for stewards.

Weekly Office Hours for Stewards

Every Sunday from 3 - 4:30 p.m., UGSDW reps will be in the Grill. Union Stewards should come by, check-in about workplace meetings, and talk about how we are mobilizing workers in the next week. Come through!

Grinnell College Lies – Denies Breaking Federal Labor Law

Last week, we outlined how Grinnell has illegally changed workplace conditions without bargaining with the union. In the libraries, supervisors forced student workers to sign a contract “update” prohibiting them from using personal technology or doing homework on the job, a policy that was never enforced before this year. In ResLife, supervisors added substantial work requirements to the CA position — and these are just the changes we know about.

In response to our newsletter, the College called these allegations “false and defamatory,” stating, “the ‘changes’ the Union points to do not exist.” Student workers in the library and other workplaces know for a fact that these changes exist — we experience them every day.

We know what is best for us and our work.

The College and their expensive union-busting lawyers think that they can intimidate us with legal jargon and circular delay tactics, but we won’t back down. The College is already breaking the law and lying about it — and we haven’t even started bargaining yet!

Going up against a $3.4 billion institution can feel futile — but we know that when we take action in solidarity with one another to demand the College bargain in good faith, they will have no choice but to listen to what student workers are telling the College we need!

UGSDW Meetings:

All are welcome!

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Email us at [email protected].

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