Three-day faculty strike begins at Green River College

The following is an open letter from Karen Strickland, President of AFT Washington, AFL-CIO:

AUBURN (May 23, 2016) — Green River United Faculty Coalition/AFT Local 2195 has called a 3-day strike which begins today (Monday, May 23) and ends on Wednesday, May 25. The strike will take place at all four college campuses: the main campus in Auburn, downtown Auburn annex, Kent campus at the Kent Commons, and the Enumclaw campus.

The decision to strike follows a series of actions over the last three years, such as rallies, information picketing, visits with the governor’s office and legislators, speaking at board of trustees meetings, and much more. The administration closed two programs last year and is proposing to close 11 programs this year, and RIF (reduction-in-force) notices have been sent to faculty.

For five years, Green River College faculty members have been battling an oppressive, anti-union administration that has resulted in program closures, termination of faculty including targeted union leaders, unfair labor practices, difficult negotiations, and an unfair, unproven evaluation process to rate programs. It’s not only union members who have been targeted, but also many good administrators who believed in shared governance were fired under the current president. Furthermore, classified staff have been retaliated against and they have numerous Unfair Labor Practices in process.

Students ultimately suffer from the lack of educational opportunities, and the community is weakened as the investment that a strong community college provides is diminished by cuts.

As their sisters and brothers, will you support your colleagues?

First and foremost, please do not cross the picket line. We have heard that the college administration has contacted some part-time members at other colleges and asked them to teach at the college.

Other ways you can help at any of the campus locations:

♦  bring coffee and donuts or fruit in the morning
♦  bring water
♦  bring pizza or other food items for the afternoon
♦  adopt a shift schedule to join the picket and bring others
♦  consider donating money for the strike fund

Now is the time to step up in solidarity! You can link to our volunteer sign-up page and choose the action you will take to support them. We will follow up with you to firm arrangements.

You can find out more information at www.unitedattheriver.com. If you have any questions, please contact Richard Burton at rburton@aftwa.org or at 206-225-0621.

In solidarity,

Karen Strickland, President
AFT Washington, AFL-CIO


ULP strike message to students (at UnitedAtTheRiver.com)

PREVIOUSLY at The Stand:

WSLC asks Inslee to intervene at Green River College (April 28, 2016)

Rally to Save Green River College is April 22 in Auburn (April 18, 2016)

Green River College faculty, staff steps up the pressure (Nov. 23, 2015)

Why we have no confidence in Green River College’s trustees (Nov. 23, 2015)

Green River College board backs Ely; faculty authorizes strike (May 27, 2015)

Green River College faculty: President Ely has got to go (May 15, 2015)

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