After more than a week of delays and disputes the votes from the just-ended UAW 2865 election have been completed, and AWDU, the insurgent slate allied with the recent University of California student uprising, have won a significant victory.
UAW 2865 represents the UC system’s student academic employees, this was both a student election and a union election. Both sides won some positions, and both sides are claiming a measure of vindication in the results, but incumbents USEJ were shut out in the most prominent officer races and took barely 40% of the seats on the local’s statewide council.
I’m still getting up to speed on this election’s long-term implications, but quite a few people in California who I’ve grown to like and trust over the last few years are very pleased by this news.
Here’s how AWDU is describing the road ahead:
Now it is time for us to bring this strength to our fight against the attacks on higher education. As a next step, we are calling on all graduate students and undergraduate tutors – no matter who they supported in the election – to come together for a statewide membership meeting of the union on May 21st to chart the way forward. We’ll get you more details soon. But high on the agenda is stepping up the fight against increasing class sizes, fee hikes, rising housing costs, new budget cuts, and UC management’s capping of funding for fee remissions and health benefits for graduate student employees.
We will stand together against the attacks on higher education, in real unity borne of fruitful discussion that includes disagreement. A grassroots, bottom-up union is strong when it provides space for open debate, and we hope that every member continues to express criticism when necessary. We also know that many members of the USEJ slate and many USEJ supporters never wanted to stop the vote count in the first place. We hope that the Elections Committee’s dismissal of the fabricated allegations by some of the outgoing union officers will help up us begin a more honest dialogue with each other.
The incredible diversity of our newly elected Joint Council and entire union is a vital strength that we must actively build upon. By working together, including with the new Joint Council members from USEJ, we will win historic advances for the rights of student-workers and the expansion of public education. We look forward to building a new kind of union together.