Thursday, May 24, 2018

How the Plaintiff in Janus v. AFSCME Benefits from His Union

Many in the labor movement are bracing for a likely anti-union ruing in the Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, which would weaken public sector unions by letting workers receive the benefits of representation without contributing toward the cost. Donnie Killen, who works in the same building as the plaintiff, Mark Janus, shares his perspectives on the irony of Janus's role as plaintiff in the case, here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Professional Staff New Hire Orientation

There was a good turnout at AFT Local 1904's Professional Staff New Hire Orientation today.

The Local's Vice President for External Affairs, Jennifer Higgins, led the workshop and invited questions from those attending. Other officers were there to introduce themselves, and to welcome attendees.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Can Weak Unions Get Teachers More Money (New York Times)?

From a New York Times article by Noam Scheiber (May 5, 2018):

On Thursday, a weeklong walkout by teachers in Arizona resulted in a major victory, as the state’s governor approved a 10 to 20 percent wage increase and a significant investment in public schools.

That followed a roughly $6,000 salary increase that Oklahoma teachers won by threatening a walkout (and later following through). Which in turn came on the heels of a 5 percent raise for teachers in West Virginia, who had shut down schools for almost two weeks.

The teachers were intent on making a statement. “No funding, no future!” they chanted in Oklahoma. And their mantra seemed to carry the day.

That all this took place in so-called right-to-work states, where the power of unions is limited, raises some interesting questions: Do weak unions go hand-in-hand with more effective political activism?

Would strong organized labor prevent teachers from getting their way? After all, in Wisconsin, a state where unions were famously powerful, public sector workers suffered a historic defeat at the hands of Gov. Scott Walker in 2011.

Yet the reality is closer to the opposite.

Full article here.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Promising Turnout at Solidarity Walk

On Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018 ... a sunny day with high temperatures in the mid-80s ... there was a particularly impressive turnout at the weekly Solidarity Walk. Even Rocky joined the group at one point!

Ken Brook Receives AFTNJ Local Heroes Award

At the AFT Local 1904 Membership Meeting on May 2, 2018, the Local congratulated Ken Brook on his AFT New Jersey Local Heroes Award! More information on the award at this link. Congratulations, Ken!

Thank You, Neeraj Vedwan!

At the AFT Local 1904 Membership Meeting on May 2, 2018, the Local thanked Neeraj Vedwan for his two terms (four years) of service to the Local as an Officer (Secretary). We wish Neeraj all the best as he prepares for a well earned sabbatical.

AFT Local 1904 is Recognized For Its 50th Chartered Year

Congratulations to AFT Local 1904 for 50 Years as a Chartered Local, as of September 14th, 2018! The Charter has been updated to include Specialists.

AFT Local 1904 Election Results for 2018-2020

Results of the Officer and Delegate elections for AFT Local 1904, for the term of May 1, 2018 through April 30, 2020, are listed below:

President: Rich Wolfson
Vice Presdient for Internal Affairs: Brian Abrams
Vice President for External Affairs: Jennifer Higgins
Vice President for Negotiations: Ken Brook
Professional Staff Negotiations Coordinator: Alex Sperling
Vice President for Personnel: Maughn Gregory
Treasurer: Mike Heller
Secretary: Susan Hagen
Librarian Coordinator: William Vincenti
Professional Staff Coordinator: Adrian Reagan
Faculty Coordinator: William Sullivan
Specialist Coordinator: Laura Field

Council Delegates:
Brian Abrams
Joy Bradway
Kenneth Brook
Hugh Curnutt
Laura Field
Michael Heller
Denise O'Shea
Becky Pataki
Adrian Reagan
Asoina Richardson
Alex Sperling
William Sullivan
William Vincenti
Krystal Woolston
(President Rich Wolfson and Vice-President for External Affairs Jennifer Higgins serve as Council Delegates, Ex-Officio)

We are grateful for the diligent work of the AFT Local 1904 2018 Elections Committee: Grover Furr (Chair), Paul Martinez, and Darren Sweeper.

We congratulate the officers and delegates elected, both those newly elected and those continuing in office, and trust they will do their best in representing our members, locally at Montclair State University and with the State, in facing the challenges that lay ahead.

2018 Becker-Keenen-Moore-Uhia-Waller, Yovnello, and Nunn Scholarship Awards

AFT Local 1904 is very pleased to have awarded a total of six scholarships in 2018! Recipients were acknowledged at our Membership Meeting on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018, in University Hall. We thank the outstanding work of the 2018 AFT Local 1904 Scholarship Committee, consisting of Vice President for Internal Affairs Brian Abrams (Chair), Catherine Baird, Charity Dacey, Karen Mingo-Campbell, Carmen Reyes-Cuevas, and Lisa Williams.

Pictured above, standing between President Wolfson and Vice-President Abrams (from left to right, beginning in back) are scholarship recipients Dustin Grossmann (BKMUW), Gabriela Herrera (BKMUW), Ashley Ann Vitiello (BKMUW), Nataly Gonzalez (Yovnello), Luz Corado Polo (BKMUW), and Emily Schladebeck (BKMUW).

Recipients are all undergraduate students in various majors, in good academic standing, with strong scholastic aspirations, and who have demonstrated that they would substantively benefit from the support of the scholarship as a resource.

The BKMUW scholarship fund was established in 1997, in honor of Catherine A. Becker, James P. Keenen III, Joseph T. Moore, Anita E. Uhia, and Connie Waller, all former faculty and active union members who were deeply committed to the principles of collective bargaining and to helping our students who demonstrate a significant economic need. 

The Yovnello and Nunn awards were established shortly following the BKMUW.

Congratulations to all six recipients!