Vito Prosciutto: Teaching community college math on the road to a PhD.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Union organizing 

I finally managed to make contact with the people who are organizing a graduate student union on campus. Being the pro-union type that I am, I immediately offered to help (much to the surprise and delight of the organizer who I spoke with). That's one good thing about having a monster shared office... I get a higher than average number of opportunities to interact with other TAs.

And to forestall any anti-union folks who will doubtless comment (assuming I get the critical mass of readers to make that happen), why am I pro-union? Because I believe that unions have played a critical role in allowing working people to live in dignity. It's worth noting that the decline of union membership since the 70s directly parallels the decline in real wages and employer-provided benefits as well as the increase in the length of the work week.

Like not working 80 hours a week? Thank unions for that. Like having insurance? Unions. Safe working conditions? Unions.

Working America, by the way, is a worthwhile organization to join for those of you who are ineligible to join unions but care about these sorts of issues. Current lobbying efforts include preserving overtime pay and preventing the gutting of medicare.

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