In addition to my leadership experience at the local level, I’ve been deeply involved with MSCF at the state level, including my positions as an executive committee at-large member and my current role as MSCF Vice President. These positions have given me a depth of understanding about the challenges we face that is unequaled in this current race. I have been in the room and at the table as we have prepared for and met challenges such as the Janus decision, the elections in 2018, and this new Reimagining Minnesota State initiative. I am more than prepared to hit the ground running as your President; I have been preparing for this role my whole life, and it will be my honor to serve in it.
I believe our contract belongs to all members, and all members should have a role in shaping, negotiating, and defending this document. When we have done the necessary work to understand what we need, built effective networks of communication about progress to involve and engage large numbers of members, and given our members opportunities to support ongoing negotiations, we can achieve our values in our contract.
The rise of contingent labor in academia is a problem 50 years in the making. It is the result of a confluence of very complex factors, including the shift from funding via public support to student tuition, management models for higher education that focus on cost reduction and flexibility instead of quality, and the rise of a mentality that sees education as a product to be sold to consumers.
In short, it will take a strong labor union to address this situation.
We face the same sort of staggering challenges that have led workers throughout history to join together, raise their voices as one, and overcome insurmountable odds. I believe, without a doubt, that our greatest achievements are yet to come.