The purpose of the UAW 2865 Anti-Oppression Committee is wide ranging. We hope to work together with members from across the UC, to challenge all forms of oppression. As we’re a very new committee, our mission is evolving, but some of the goals and strategies we plan to pursue include: identifying and challenging discrimination in our workplaces; organizing in solidarity with students, community groups, and other unions against various forms of oppression within the UC system; helping develop demands during contract bargaining that challenge racism, language discrimination, sexism, trans- and homophobia, ableism, ageism and citizenship status.
Our contract with the University of California, which covers all graduate and undergraduate academic student workers (instructors, readers, tutors), expired on September 30, 2013. Our union has a committee of members who are bargaining for a better contract, which includes more protections for academic student workers and improving our work conditions (smaller class sizes, leave of absence policies that actually benefit us, better quality of access to figuring out what jobs are available, better health care benefits). Negotiating a new contract also represents an opportunity to combat forms of discrimination and bias in the UC.
An example of issues the committee is working on ate organizing for equal access to grad student work research, and teaching opportunities for undocumented students and demanding access to gender neutral bathrooms across all campuses as part of equitable workplace conditions. There are other factors which impact academic student workers and the AOC will work to advance these issues in our new contract and in our broader agenda as a union beyond the contract campaign.
Also part of this committee’s plan is critically educating ourselves and all members about how to address power dynamics within the union and we plan to develop sustainable practices and leadership development pathways to diversify union leadership. These programs will expand the resources we make available to all campuses to support all members to build consciousness around anti-oppression issues within the union and across all spheres of the UC student experience. We hope that the evolution of this plan will be informed by your experiences as a student and member at the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, age, nation, gender, sexuality, and ability.