Stanford Graduate Employees Union (SGWU) held their first assembly Wednesday, presenting their bargaining platform to members forward of their presentation to the College subsequent Friday. Members expressed disagreement over a press release that expressed solidarity with Palestinian Commerce Unions and known as for College divestment from Israel.
“This isn’t one thing that’s simply taking place right here at Stanford. This can be a huge nationwide motion, and we’re all part of it,” mentioned Thom Chaffee, a fourth-year geophysics Ph.D. pupil and bargaining committee member from the Doerr Faculty of Sustainability.
SGWU is the official platform from which graduate staff can have interaction in collective bargaining with the College.
Nora Enright, a fifth-year bioengineering Ph.D. pupil and union member, launched staff’ rights as a long-standing subject and mentioned SGWU’s platform would push for well timed cost, mental property and copyright protections, overwork points and job safety.
“We’re searching for protections for worldwide, immigrant and undocumented staff, together with full monetary and authorized assist for no matter it takes to work on this nation,” Enright mentioned.
Chaffee offered the method of bargaining with Stanford: voting on the platform will shut on Nov. 1, and the primary two bargaining classes can be held on Nov. 3 and Nov. 6, respectively. After this, the SGWU expects that Stanford will return with a counter proposal.
Nonetheless, Chaffee mentioned this isn’t discouraging for the SGWU.
“They’re required to barter with us and to succeed in an settlement. We could not get each last item we wish, however that’s okay. That is our first contract and there’s no approach that it’s our final,” Chaffee mentioned.
As soon as the language of the phrases has been negotiated, Chaffee mentioned they’ll transfer on to financial proposals. To be clear, Chaffee mentioned the general public will be capable to observe the bargaining course of on-line.
Within the case that the SGWU and the College attain a tentative settlement, the SGWU can vote ‘No’ and undergo the bargaining course of once more.
“Stanford needs this to tug out and we’re not going to allow them to make this course of take three years … We’re going to win our contract,” Chaffee mentioned.
Chafee known as for the group to point out assist by means of a SGWU rally on Nov. 3, elevated SGWU participation and voluntary dues.
“Keep in mind, we’re going up in opposition to Stanford, one of many prime 5 richest universities on the planet. We can’t match their spending, however we are able to outpace them in enthusiasm and turnout and energy and keenness,” Chaffee mentioned.
Jason Anderson, a fifth-year aeronautics and astronautics Ph.D. pupil and the SGWU aeronautics and astronautics committee consultant, spoke about fellows’ house within the union.
“Stanford believes that there is no such thing as a service anticipated in return for a fellowship. And that’s why you’ll be able to’t be part of this union,” Anderson mentioned.
Fellows’ inclusion within the union would be the bargaining committee’s “hardest ask,” Anderson mentioned, citing an analogous proposal from the Massachusetts Institute of Expertise Graduate Pupil Union that was just lately met with issue. “You suppose that now could be tense? MIT was tense and they didn’t get this. We are able to solely win this with you all displaying up when known as,” Anderson mentioned.
Enright touched on the bargaining platform’s hope for incapacity lodging, which they mentioned aren’t at the moment provided for graduate staff. In accordance with Enright, the bargaining platform contains the “costliest non-discrimination coverage in any graduate contract.” To attain this, the SGWU is pushing for unbiased grievance procedures, the place a union member can symbolize a graduate in any disciplinary assembly.
Steven Ortega, a third-year pupil at Stanford Legislation Faculty and member of the bargaining contract staff, spoke concerning the upcoming vote. Any graduate employee who signed a union card and has both labored prior to now 12 months, or is required to work throughout their diploma program, is eligible to vote. For one week, they will vote by means of a safe poll platform through electronic mail.
Ortega mentioned two issues can be voted on: the bargaining platform and a separate assertion on Palestine launched by SGWU members and authorized by the contract motion staff. Eligible voters can vote on one or each of the statements.
“It’s as much as you now because the members of Stanford Graduate Employees Union to have a look at this, to ratify it and, in step with our ideas of union democracy, in the event you’re sad with it, to reject it as properly, so we are able to begin over,” Ortega mentioned.
Throughout a query and reply session, some viewers members expressed disagreement with the upcoming vote on SGWU’s assertion on the Israel-Gaza battle.
A model of the assertion obtained by The Each day criticizes a Oct. 11 message to the College from President Richard Saller and Provost Jenny Martinez: “And not using a equally unequivocal condemnation of the crimes in opposition to humanity which have lengthy been unfolding in occupied Palestine, and with out divestment from the businesses complicit for these crimes, Stanford’s administration fails its founding grant, its promise of ‘college neutrality,’ and its campus group.”
The assertion additionally calls on the College to divest from “firms which might be complicit in and immediately liable for the worldwide arms commerce,” together with Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Caterpillar and Boeing.
The assertion concludes with: “SGWU is in solidarity with the Palestinian Commerce Unions, which have known as on ‘all individuals of conscience to finish all types of complicity with Israel’s crimes.’ SGWU stands in opposition to the unlawful occupation of Palestine, the mass ethnic cleaning of Palestinian individuals, and the apartheid system below which Palestinian individuals stay, and we urge our employer to do the identical.”
An viewers member, who didn’t determine themselves, mentioned, “That is terrifying, as a pro-Israeli.” Many mentioned they felt blind-sighted that this was launched and criticized the SGWU for a scarcity of transparency.
Others attendees expressed various views on the Israel-Gaza battle and requested the SGWU to not vote on something till the official bylaws are written.
The SGWU mentioned that something voted on at Thursday conferences is reflective of the union members current, and that the assertion in query was reflective of those that had been most concerned. One union member mentioned the assembly notes are on Slack, which is accessible to over 600 members.
Reagan Nicole M.A. ’17, a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in communications, acknowledged that the SGWU continues to be in its early phases.
“I would like everybody to be respectful, particularly to the union leaders who’re main this assembly,” she mentioned. “Please assume greatest intentions and let’s transfer in that approach.”