Our next contract negotiations won’t start until the spring or summer of 2017,
but our 2016-17 contract campaign starts now!
Since our last negotiations, in 2014, we’ve seen an uptick in infringements on faculty rights to academic freedom, due process, and participation in shared governance on campuses nationwide. In this context, and in a political and economic climate of reduced legislative support for public education, WMU faculty once again face serious challenges as we approach our 2017 contract negotiations. That is why we have been working to organize a year-long campaign of events and actions to build solidarity on campus and support for 2017 negotiations.
What is a contract campaign?
A contract campaign supports the bargaining team by engaging the faculty to build solidarity. A visible, vocal, and united faculty sends a powerful message that we are determined to stand up for academic excellence, fair compensation, and appropriate working conditions. This approach worked well for us in 2014, and with lessons learned from that campaign, we are prepared to come out even stronger this time around.
Why do we need a contract campaign?
It would be great if once we won a benefit, we could consider it permanent. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. The administration comes into every negotiation demanding concessions, and we owe our success over the years in holding them off and winning enhanced benefits to the collective action of the faculty and their visible and vocal support for our bargaining teams.
What you can do:
- Apply to serve on the bargaining team. The call for applications is coming soon, and interviews with the WMU-AAUP Executive Committee will be held in November 2016.
Serving on the bargaining team not your style? That’s OK! We have lots of opportunities to get involved, build solidarity, and cultivate leadership skills.
- Join the contract campaign team and develop and implement our 2017 campaign strategy. (Sign up online now.)
- Join the communication and media team and get information out to the faculty and community. (Sign up online now.)
- Join the “S” committee and organize actions in support of the bargaining team. (Sign up online now.)
- Join the FOIA team and help draft information requests, follow-ups, and appeals. (Sign up online now.)
Want to help support the WMU-AAUP bargaining team but not sure you have time to join a support team or committee? Here are some other ways to help (and you can — you guessed it — sign up online):
- Make signs and create other materials for rallies.
- Help organize campaign events.
- Talk to colleagues about the benefits of union membership and to friends and neighbors about our academic mission and the benefits our work provides to students and to the community.
- Share your professional expertise with the bargaining team.
- Write articles, blog posts, and letters to the editor in support of public higher education and the role of the faculty in the academic mission.
- Come to WMU-AAUP events and encourage your colleagues to attend.
- Watch for emails from the WMU-AAUP, subscribe to the blog (from the home page, look for the ‘subscribe’ and ‘follow’ buttons on the right-hand side of the page), join us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter for information about upcoming events and to make sure you never miss a call to action.
Look for sign-up sheets at WMU-AAUP meetings and events or click here to learn more and sign up online.