The Union Stew – 2016 #5


This message includes a bunch of announcements. Scan them carefully to see which apply to you.

(1) The contract has now been signed by all parties and is in force. Hooray!

(2) Application for professional development funds has been posted on our Union bulletin board (archway into GLC south wing). The application period for the first round of awards opens on April 1 and closes on May 1. Follow the link for full details.

(NOTE: you will need to be logged in to Google through your Hamline account to access the link in the PDF that takes you to the online application; I tried this to make sure it works—and it does.)

(3) Hard times at Hamline University. I’ve heard from several reliable sources that Hamline’s budget crisis is going to hit hard the next couple of years. Painfully hard—across all segments of the university. I mention this for two reasons. First, so you know that anxiety over the budget is widespread. Even with pay increases under this new contract, our labor remains far cheaper than that of fulltime faculty, making us an attractive cost-saver whenever possible (even in ways that may not be to Hamline’s long-term health). Second, so you don’t presume any impact you might personally feel is the result of being unionized. It isn’t. It’s the result of years of budget neglect and misaligned priorities. President Miller is committed to bringing Hamline through these hardships, and, for the wellbeing of the entire Hamline community, I hope you join me in wishing her well.

(4) Motion for a Co-Steward; can I get a second? I’ve served as your steward since August 2014 … through some pretty grueling months. And I’m willing to stay on for a while longer as we find our way into this new contract. BUT— I only teach about one course per year at Hamline, and I have a very busy non-Hamline life. It’s time for a second steward. Preferably someone who teaches more consistently than I do—but it could be anybody. Most importantly, I need someone to step forward and say they’d be willing to share Steward duties with me. Only a couple hours a month, but this is a pretty big deal. I need some help. So when I ask, Could it be you? PLEASE give it serious consideration and let me know.

(5) Union-University Collaboration Committee: looking for a few good faculty. Our contract provides for a UUCC to help build a stronger working relationship, enhance communications, and trouble-shoot issues that may arise during the contract. We can have up to five representatives on the Committee (and we’d be foolish to have any fewer than that). The UUCC will meet only as needed (but at least once each semester) with the agenda set by co-chairs (one admin and one of us). This is less time than being Co-Steward, but just as important. So, again, PLEASE give this serious consideration and let me know.

(6) Spring luncheon?? I’d like to consider holding a spring luncheon … an opportunity to meet and greet, socialize a bit, and hear some ideas about how to strengthen our Union, support one another, and enrich the fabric of life at Hamline. I know our schedules are widely scattered, but if we don’t try, we won’t accomplish anything. So, two questions: anyone willing to help make this happen? Any feedback on days or times most conducive to the most participation? Let me know.

(7) Associate Membership matters. Your active union membership can “coast” across short breaks like January and the summer—provided you have a teaching assignment on the far side of the break. Otherwise it lapses at the end of each semester in which you teach. In order to keep your membership—and your benefits—active during periods when you’re not teaching, you can voluntarily choose to become an associate member. You’ll pay a modest dues direct to SEIU Local 284 and in exchange you’ll keep your benefits active and keep the Local strong. It’s strictly voluntary and details will come out in an official mailing from the office, but I urge you to consider it. It’s a win-win offer, both for you and for the Union. More on member benefits is right here.


Upcoming Events & Opportunities

SEIU Lobby Day is Tuesday, April 12. Want to join other union members in meeting with Minnesota legislators around education issues at the Capitol? Sign up to attend SEIU Lobby Day right here.

SEIU Day at the Saints is Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 5:30 pm. Info on tickets will follow.

SEIU Day at the Minnesota Zoo is Sunday, August 14, 2016 beginning at 4:00. Info on tickets will follow.

You can find other union meetings on the SEIU Local 284 calendar.

Thanks for making it all the way to the end! Let me hear from you about anything you can help with—or anything you need help with.


Happy Spring,


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