I am excited to join the Executive Committee of UFCT Local 1460 in the role of Vice President. A new model of unionism is taking shape on our campus – one based on values of respect, collaboration, communication, and most fundamentally, the understanding that strong unions are ones where rank-and-file lead. These are values I hold deeply, and I believe I can contribute to the strength and transformation of our union.
I bring to the position of Vice President a breadth of experience with our union and a depth of institutional knowledge of Pratt. I first got involved in our local in 2011 as part of a rank-and-file campaign to win healthcare for adjuncts. As a result of that work, I joined the negotiating team for the 2011-15 CBA, which secured healthcare for adjuncts for the first time. From there, I worked with fellow members to re-start the Delegates Assembly. The DA developed our first-ever set of bylaws, worked on outreach to build membership, and went on to engage members to prepare for the 2016-2021 CBA negotiations.
In 2014, I was elected to Vice President, a position I held for four years. As Vice President, I represented member interests to the administration, ushered the transition of the APRT process from paper to a digital platform, served on the Grievance Team for three semesters, and served as Acting President for six months. As Acting President, in Spring 2017, in addition to my regular duties, I worked with members to start an “Emergency Activities Fund” and to organize an International Women’s Day event on campus in coalition with leaders from OPEIU Local 153 and student groups.
In 2018, I accepted a position as Assistant Chair of my department, Humanities and Media Studies, and resigned the position of Vice President. During my five and a half years as Assistant Chair, I got a new window into how administration works at Pratt, adding to my understanding of faculty working conditions and student needs. Currently, I hold a one-year Non-Tenure-Track position as Assistant Professor, and in the Fall, I will return to Adjunct Assistant Professor with CCE, a rank and status I earned in 2015. I am passionate about teaching, and I believe that our working conditions are students’ learning conditions.
I am truly enlivened by the activism in our union over the past year, and I have a profound respect for the tremendous amount of work that Jamie, Velina, and Robert have done over the past seven months to increase Union membership, support the rebuilding of the DA, support the development of a campaign about service work, organize our finances, and defend our contract. I also feel deep gratitude for all I learned through working with many, many fellow members and former officers in the past. I am eager to learn from our union’s newer generation of members and leaders, and I hope I can help to build bridges among generations of union members so that we might learn from each other and get stronger together.
Change is exciting, difficult, sometimes painful, and absolutely necessary if we are to build our power as workers. Across New York City and Higher Education, we are seeing workers stand up, organize, and fight to win real change – transforming their unions as they do so. Our Union is in a period of massive growth and transformation, and I would be honored and excited to use my experience to support and help shape that transformation. I respectfully ask you to confirm me as Vice President of UFCT Local 1460.