Here we are in the middle of the fall semester. As the days grow shorter and somewhat colder (well, it is Southern California, after all), it is time to reflect about the product of the hard work that is the labor movement.
First, there is the healthy and growing national labor movement. The well-organized assault on public unions has accomplished what a good pruning does to rose bushes; by taking away the old, dry stalks the new growth has emerged and our national union movement has blossomed. Far from the feared decline in union membership, there has actually been an increase since last year. We are growing stronger every day.
Then there is the budding cooperative relationship with the District. For several years the Guild and the District were in the middle of almost continuous battling, with a mobilization of our membership at the Garfield Campus the only way to make our position clear, and a mediator ultimately supporting our salary objectives. Now, 2 years later, we have found a new way to have the District understand our needs. With both sides agreeing to the negotiation principles embodied in the Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, we have discovered that by defining mutually agreeable issues facing the College, we can work together to find ways to cooperate in finding solutions rather than battling to “win” at the table.
The result of the new era of collaboration was the recently ratified 3.5% raise, accomplished in the first month of negotiation in fall rather than sometime in the middle of spring. Do not think that your leadership is not vigilant – your leadership continually works to maintain your working conditions and rights against potential erosions – but rejoice in an environment where cooperation and collegiality are the key principles in a world where those characteristics seem increasingly archaic.
And lastly, I would like to thank those who work so hard to convey the importance of membership to the new hires at Glendale. Our Operation’s Officer David Hassett and 2nd VP Brian Reff work vigorously to make sure each new faculty member understands the benefits of membership, and the strength of our Guild built upon 95% belonging. This fall has sown new seeds into the fertile ground that is our union, with our future growth assured owing to the continued 100% membership among our full time faculty, and the majority of our new adjunct hires understanding the value of belonging.
So, here we are at the time when the hard year’s work comes to fruition. And just like that rose bush that is properly pruned, we are stronger and healthier than ever.
President, Glendale College Guild
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