Organizing Does Not Take a Summer Vacation

Organizing is at the heart of unionism, and it is a vital part of our local. As our union is our vehicle for collective action and power, organizing is what drives that forward. The activism of our members makes our union work, and we need everyone to be involved. This summer, our organizing program continues to build, and there are lots of ways to get involved. Read more below…

Connecting with fellow workers, talking about union and workplace issues, and identifying other potential activists and leaders are some of the things that are crucial to our organizing program. But running a good organizing program requires a lot more than just having members go out and talk to fellow workers. We need to have a good plan, we need to educate and train, we need to have good information, and we need to have a process. So while much of what occurs with our organizing program in the way of contacting fellow workers occurs during the school year, when everyone is on campus, the summer is a prime time to work on the background of organizing in addition to doing things like office visits, department meetings, activist trainings, and education sessions.

This summer, we have two main avenues through which to get involved, our Organizing Committee and our Orientation Committee. Every year, new and current teaching and project assistants go through departmental and other forms of orientation. This is perhaps our best, and certainly our most concentrated, way of reaching literally hundreds if not thousands of fellow grad workers at the UW. Putting together a great orientation organizing plan is key to having success bringing new and current workers into the union and getting them plugged in to who we are and what we do. This is also the time when many grad workers first learn about our union and even what a union is. So our Orientation Committee is working to put together this organizing plan, figure out logistics and details, and set in motion our work to organize grad workers through their orientation. The more people involved with the work of the Orientation Committee, the better we can reach the grad workers in our bargaining unit. So we want to invite you to get involved. Contact Orientation Committee co-chairs Tim Frandy and Peter Rickman to get involved yourself.

Our Organizing Committee is the standing body we have to run full-time organizing throughout the year. Because we have ambitious goals and objectives with our organizing, the work of our Organizing Committee over the summer is vital to running good program between September and May. The Organizing Committee is working this summer to develop more fully its action plan, conduct research and gather information, and begin with core elements like training and education of activists and even beginning to contact fellow members in organizing. Organizing is how we build relationships, keep members engaged in the union, and move forward our programmatic agenda. This is a great way for everyone to be involved because anyone can do it and we will ensure that all activists can be involved in a meaningful way for themselves. To get involved yourself, contact our temporary Organizing Committee leader Tim Frandy or Co-Presidents Katie Lindstrom and PPeter Rickman.