Disaster Assistance

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

The following information is being sent to our members who may have sustained loses from Wednesday’s devastating tornado. We also ask that if anyone knows of others who could use this information they pass it on.

While we know with certainly that we have had members sustain personal and professional loses we have not had many contact us. As an example the main offices and the daycare of Square One located on Main Street in Springfield were so severely damaged the facility is closed and is probably going to be razed, putting a number of our members out of work. We have also had some reports that members have lost their housing or cars.

If any members need help finding services we ask that you please contact us at ron@uaw2322.org or 413-534-7600 (my extension is #1).  If you do not reach someone directly please be sure to leave your contact information including a cell phone if possible.

Ronald Patenaude, President UAW 2322

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4/28/2011 Membership Meeting Referendum Item

We will be voting on the referendum item below at the next GEO membership meeting, April 28, 2011.  It has been approved by the GEO Steering Committee and the Stewards’ Assembly.  A vote by GEO membership is the next step to move forward on these important changes to the GEO bylaws.  Please read the proposed changes in advance of the April 28 meeting so you’re able to make an informed decision.

Membership Referendum

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.