UCLA AWDU’s Statement of Support for GSA Resolution

31 May

On May 25th, the UCLA Graduate Student Assembly voted on a resolution, written and proposed by GSA Director of Communications Jason Ball and GSA Vice President of Internal Affairs Luis Limon, condemning the administration’s unilateralism, especially with regard to budgeting decisions.  Backed by statements of support from UCLA AWDU, UCLA Fights Back, and UC-AFT President Bob Samuels, the GSA approved the resolution unanimously, with one abstention. Below is our written statement of support. For the full text of the GSA resolution, click here.

UCLA AWDU Statement in Support of the GSA Forum Resolution:

Condemnation of Administration’s Unilateralism and Demand for Democratic Budgeting

The UCLA chapter of the reform movement, Academic Workers for a Democratic Union, fought for democratization within our union not simply in order to have a more inclusive union, but in order to have a more effective union capable of participating in the governance of the UC insofar as it affects our members as student-workers – that is to say, in order to democratize our university.

Like the stated aim of this GSA resolution, one of our goals is an increased role in making the budgetary decisions which directly affect us as student workers.  In light of the strategies deployed by UCOP in our recent contract battle, which used the same obstructionist and obscurantist tactics – showing up late to meetings, failing to provide requested information, unilaterally setting the terms of negotiation, and in general attempting to keep our bargaining team in the dark and out of the negotiating room – we feel that this resolution is a necessary step in calling out the UC for its attempt to make decisions about the character of public education in California without giving students, workers, and faculty the power to shape our university’s future.

As fellow graduate students, graduate student researchers, and graduate and undergraduate TAs, readers, and tutors, UCLA AWDU recommends the ratification of this resolution.  The UC and UCLA management will not even do the bare minimum of giving us adequate access to the information it uses and the forums in which it decides.  In light of such practices, we must not let the fact that they do nominally give us some access conceal their concerted effort to exclude us from decision making.  We cannot let formal inclusion paper over real exclusion in the hope that, at some point, we will be listened to.  If we are not exercising power, we should not participate in legitimizing the administration’s decisions.

Signed on by:

Kyle Arnone (UAW Local 2865 Trustee, UCLA Sociology)
Carolina Beltran (UCLA Spanish and Portuguese)
Erin Conley (Candidate for Head Steward, UCLA English)
Renee Hudson (Candidate for Head Steward, UCLA English)
Dustianne North (UCLA Social Welfare)
Alexei Nowak (Candidate for Head Steward, UCLA Comparative Literature)
Althea Sircar (UCLA Political Science)
Julia Tomassetti (Candidate for Head Steward, UCLA Sociology)
Zachary Williams (Candidate for Head Steward, UCLA Political Science)
Elise Youn (UCLA Urban Planning)

Supported by quorum on May 25, 2011 by:

UCLA AWDU

Statement drafted by Zachary Williams

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