GMM Minutes, SSF Escalation News

JANUARY 19 GMM MINUTES

Thank you to everyone who made it out to our General Members Meeting this past Wednesday! It was a meeting full of vigorous but comradely discussion on our current campaigns, options for moving forward throughout the quarter, and issues (such as COVID) affecting graduate workers on campus. The membership also voted to pass two motions on the table, the first related to escalation of the Student Services Fee Refusal Campaign and the second related to governance of our new Hardship Fund. You can review the minutes here. For security reasons (since these newsletters are widely distributed), some campaign-related numbers have been redacted from this document, but members can inquire with graduatestudentsunited@gmail.com at any time to receive the full, non-redacted minutes. 

SSF Campaign Update

At this week’s GMM, after discussing the results of our recent data collection and department-level organizing around the Student Services Fee Refusal, membership voted to pass an amended version of the motion to escalate our campaign. We are now not only demanding that the administration cancel and refund the Student Services Fee for the duration of the pandemic, but also that they eliminate the fee for all graduate workers going forward. In coordination with other members in their departments, grads who are poised to owe an excess of $1,500 in fees this quarter are encouraged to cross that threshold (rather than pay down their debt) and exert pressure on divisional and faculty administrators to answer to our demands. We will continue raising money for our Hardship Fund to provide participants with a cushion in the event that this action becomes financially untenable. Stay in contact with an organizer in your department, or contact us to become more involved in bringing this campaign to a win! If you have any questions about this action, please be sure to be in touch with us at graduatestudentsunited@gmail.com

Departmental Organizer Training Wed. Jan 26

Are you excited to get more involved with GSU as we work towards winning our SSF Refusal Campaign and explore national affiliation? Join us at next week’s Departmental Organizer 101 training! You can register here to learn more about the basics of conducting one-on-ones and organizing your department to collectively tackle the issues facing our colleagues and coworkers. 

Hardship Fund

Our Hardship Fund is now accepting donations! If you have some money to spare to help your fellow union members, we would deeply appreciate your contribution. Otherwise, be sure to share the link to the fund on social media and distribute to your networks. 

This fund will provide GSU members involved in the SSF Refusal Campaign with the support to hold strong in the face of retaliation from University administrators and help protect some of the most vulnerable graduate workers who have bravely been engaging in this campaign. Any remaining funds not distributed as part of our SSF Refusal Campaign will be used to provide emergency aid to graduate workers experiencing financial hardship.

Get Involved with GSU this Quarter

GSU has a number of ways to get involved, from organizing to committee work! All meetings are open to all members. Below you can find the new Winter Quarter meetings and times for our regular committee meetings, but also feel free to get in touch with one of your department’s organizers or email graduatestudentsunited@gmail.com if you are interested in work at the departmental or divisional level. To receive Zoom links and updates for the meetings below, email us to join the Departmental Organizer listserv. 

Mutual Aid Committee – Mondays at 12pm

Steering Committee – Mondays at 5pm (new time)

Communications Committee – Wednesdays at 2pm (new time)

Anti-Racism Working Group – Wednesdays at 4pm (new time)

Department Organizer Training – Biweekly Wednesdays at 5pm (register here!)

Organizing Committee – Thursdays at 12pm

Worker Action Committee – Meeting on an as-needed basis