As we mentioned in our last blog post, orientations are starting this week. This is a critical time of the year to sign up new members, educate student workers on their rights, and get out information on our contract negotiations. It’s also a great opportunity to get more involved in your union and gain some experience talking to people about our campaigns. We’ll be holding training sessions on how to canvass, set up department meetings, and approach new members on Sept. 20, 21, and 23. If you’d like to attend one of these training sessions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Although university administration is required to allow us access to orientations, in the past they have failed to meet their legal and contractual obligations. They have created many obstacles for union members working to educate new workers on their rights, such as scheduling union presentations in a way that discourages attendance, or even calling the police on members for passing out materials in a public space. We’re up against a lot of push back from university administration and management this year, which makes it helpful to have many volunteers doing work like passing out materials outside orientations, helping guide people to presentations, collecting sign up cards, and even volunteering as observers of the process. A couple hours out of your day makes a huge difference in the number of people we’re able to talk to, and contributes immensely to our ability to win a strong contract through broad member participation. If you’re interested in volunteering, please email us.