AFT 1493 Statement of Solidarity with CSEA to the Board of Trustees
Note: At the November 30th, 2022 SMCCCD Board of Trustees meeting, AFT 1493 Cañada College Chapter Chair Michael Hoffman spoke about AFT’s support for and solidarity with district classified staff members, especially during CSEA and AFT’s bargaining for fair contracts.
Below is the text of Michael’s statement. You can also watch Michael’s presentation following the text.
Following the video of Michael’s presentation is a video of statements to the Board by CSEA leaders, who spoke about the need for fairer compensation and benefits offers from the district.
by Michael Hoffman, AFT 1493 Cañada College Chapter Chair
“It isn’t the rebels who cause the troubles of the world, it’s the troubles that cause the rebels.” – Carl Oglesby
In other words: exploitative conditions will reproduce struggle.
This message is addressed to the Board AND to all the faculty and staff who’s labor makes the colleges run. Without faculty and staff labor, there is no amount of smart management or “transformative leadership” that can have any impact on our communities.
Currently, both CSEA and AFT unions are in negotiations for updated contracts.
The context of these negotiations is interesting:
- Global inflation means the value of our wages has shrunk;
- The Bay Area housing market has pushed a large portion of lower and middle-income people to relocate;
- The feeling of rising precarity, where more and more jobs feel like “Gigs” in the “gig-economy”;
And on the other hand:
- The district is in a very strong financial position, being funded by taxes in one of the wealthiest places IN THE WORLD.
- AND we still work on expired contracts
- AND among other things, the district has offered CSEA compensation that is below inflation, even though they received no raise last year.
I know I speak for AFT leadership when I say that we stand in Solidarity with CSEA in their fight for a contract that can truly support the needs of our staff colleagues.
We will not be pit against each other by a sense of false scarcity.
We will fight to preserve our jobs in this district as quality, stable careers that allow for a decent quality of life. We want that not just for ourselves, but for all people, especially students.
We are inspired by the recent strike across the UC system where several different “bargaining units” went out on strike together and even now, after some have settled, they continue to strike in solidarity with graduate students.
Social Justice looks like workers overcoming divisions to advance the cause of fundamental human needs.
AND given the fact that inequality has only accelerated, ALL people who sell our labor to survive will have to learn to truly act collectively. We – as a working class – are out of practice, but the conditions are pushing us to remember. In that spirit, AFT intends to extend and deepen our relationship od Solidarity with CSEA.