Solidarity with Northampton School Employees

Thursday, June 23, 6:30 pm
JFK Middle School
100 Bridge Road
Florence, MA

The Northampton school employees are being denied their collective bargaining rights! Due to a clause in the law called “fiscal exigency” the School Committee is refusing to bargain with Northampton School Employees. This law states that an employer can refuse to bargain in the event of a fiscal emergency which is not the case in this situation. Northampton school employees are being robbed of their right to bargain collectively.

The School Committee is also committing a breach of contract by refusing to grant step increases. These are not negotiable (unless reopened). They are part of the contract, which is a signed, ironclad agreement on wages and work conditions and mutual obligations between the Northampton School Employees and the City of Northampton.

When someone screws with an existing contract AND refuses to negotiate, that is called UNION BUSTING, and NOT BARGAINING IN GOOD FAITH.

Come out and show your support for the Northampton school employees prior to the School Committee meeting taking place at 7:15. We will be meeting in front of JFK Middle School and will be wearing blue and gold to show solidarity. Feel free to make signs and banners! All the support we can get is greatly appreciated!

Not only will members of the Northampton Association of School Employees receive no raises in the fiscal year that begins July 1, continuing the trend of the last several years, the School Committee has refused to open negotiations on the existing contract, which expires on June 30. As NASE President Sharon Carlson observed, “It basically feels like Wisconsin in Northampton.”

NASE has passed a motion of no confidence in the School Committee and called for the resignation of its members. It is now calling on other unions, community organizations, and community members to join them in picketing the meeting of the Northampton School Committee when it meets next Thursday, June 23. Further information is available on the Facebook description of the event is pasted below.

For further information, please contact:

Jillian Meghan Sullivan

UAW 2322 involvement in Northampton Pride March a success

GEO had a significant contingent of members at the 30th Annual Northampton Pride March on Saturday, May 7.  We joined our sisters and brothers in other UAW Local 2322 shops to show labor’s support for the area’s gay/lesbian/bi/trans/queer communities.

You can see more pictures of Local 2322 members (including GEO leadership, staff, and members) marching in the Pride Parade here.  Also, check out the story from the Springfield Republican, which features a prominent picture of UAW 2322 members.

April 5 Teach-In at UMass Amherst

Next Tuesday, April 5, will be a teach-in at UMass, from 11:30 am to 4:00 pm in the Student Union Ballroom.

This is an historic moment in US history, but change will only happen if we educate ourselves for action.  Many of us, and our students, have trouble keeping track of what is happening, or knowing what to make of assorted (and contradictory) media accounts.  A teach-in is a way to present evidence and ideas; speakers will supplement their remarks with written handouts to take home.

GEO and MSP are among many teach-in co-sponsors, along with more than a dozen academic departments.   We already have excellent speakers – professors, community members, staff and students – as well as a live-stream connection with the national teach-in featuring Frances Fox Piven, Jeffrey Sachs, and Cornel West.  Our teach-in is part of a national movement; over 100 campuses around the US have committed to holding similar teach-ins on April 5th.

We need your participation to make this the most informative, inspiring and well-attended event UMass has seen in years.

Together, GEO and MSP are asking professors and graduate students to commit to the following:

  1. Tell your classes about the event.  TA’s: Encourage your professor to speak up, pass out flyers, offer extra credit.  Faculty: Announce the teach-in yourself, or have a TA announce it, and allow your TA’s leeway in encouraging undergrads to participate.
  2. Publicize this event to your colleagues, committees, community groups and other networks.  The event is free and open to the public.
  3. Bring your class to the teach-in.  It is an educational forum and the speakers will teach about the economic crisis, the politics of inequality, how unions and collective bargaining work, and alternatives to neoliberalism.  If you bring your class, your students can report back or write about what they learn.
  4. Ask your department or program to endorse the teach-in. They will join Afro-American Studies, Anthropology, Communication, CPPA, Economics, English, History, Labor Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, STPEC, and Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, among others.

Following the teach-in, there will be a call-in day on April 6th to contact our legislators and ask them to endorse more progressive revenue policies instead of budget cuts, attacks on collective bargaining, and fee hikes.

Please join us on Tuesday, April 5th, from 11:30 am to 4:00 pm, in the Student Union Ballroom.

The 20th Anniversary of GEO is today, March 30, from 12-4pm in the Cape Cod Lounge!

Did you know the owner of The Harp Irish Pub was one of the first GEO contract signers?  Come hear him and others speak about GEO’s early days and the need to keep up the good work.  Join us if you’re a long time activist or a new member.

Come join us for food, informational tables, a photo exhibit of the 1991 GEO strike (never before seen) and a great array of guest speakers from GEO’s past and present.

12 pm          Introduction, lunch, information tables, photo slideshow from 1991 strike

12:30 pm      GEO- Twenty Years of Struggle and Solidarity

-Harpo!  One of first GEO co-chairs and current owner of The Harp Irish Pub
-Ron Patenaude, President of UAW 2322
-Leo Maley, frmr history steward & GEO activist, current union/political organizer

1:15 pm        We are Wisconsin: GEO and Public Sector Rights

-Dr. Eve Weinbaum, Director of the UMass Labor Studies Program 


2 pm Speakout! Today’s Struggles and Campaigns

Emahunn Campbell, Sameerah Ahmad, Kate Losey and others

2:30 pm     GEO Moving Forward: Organizing for the Future

Informational tables will be set up from 12-4pm representing GSS, Student Legal Services, Student Bridges, the Totman Body Shop, Stonewall Center, Office of Family Resources, International Program Office, Equal Opportunity & Discrimination Office, Women of Color Leadership Network and others.

**Leslie Edwards will also be there for a while to answer dental, vision, gym and other trust questions.  If you were specifically told to pick up a check in March, you may pick it up tomorrow.