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Anyone ever been part of a grad student strike before? Really any advice or thought would be helpful, since the VAST majority of union members here have never gone on strike before and we're anticipating the administration to try to wait it out and break it. TL;DR it's probably going to be long and hard.

Academic Union Stuff 

@interneteh @Analog also contact CUPE Local 3903:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Yor

literally required a back-to-work legislation to be passed to end it

the FAQ for the summer session shows some of how they had prepared:

3903.cupe.ca/faq-for-summer-st

Academic Union Stuff 

@Analog the admin will probably try to spread lies about the strike, through school media as well as public media. you need to think about how you'll counter those threats and lies to keep your campaign together.

this is the Inoculate stage of AEIOU (Agitate, Educate, Inoculate, Organise, Union) organising.

gonna tag @GreenandBlack and @teslas_moustache in as well cause they wanted to know more about this.

Academic Union Stuff 

@Analog @GreenandBlack @teslas_moustache

also, along with contacting fellow workers (students are workers too!) who are already organising their own campaigns, look to past student strikes to see what kinds of lies and threats the boss put in the media. yours will likely do the same, with little variation. you can be very creative in countering their stale capitalist memes. you must keep the element of surprise on your side.

Academic Union Stuff 

@lyliawisteria @GreenandBlack @teslas_moustache

(1/2)Thanks for this. I just arrived at the institution (and the region) a few weeks ago, but my impression is that the union has their public relations down pretty well. The biggest criticism I've heard has come from union members with backgrounds in industrial unions who have been critical about our unions lack of planning for a potentially protracted strike

Academic Union Stuff 

@lyliawisteria @GreenandBlack @teslas_moustache

(2/2)the are no plans in place for addressing missed paychecks, lapsed benefits, etc., or at least no plans that anyone has been told about.
)

Academic Union Stuff 

@Analog @GreenandBlack @teslas_moustache that's really bad planning on behalf of the strike organisers, and could cause the campaign to collapse.

Academic Union Stuff 

@lyliawisteria @GreenandBlack @teslas_moustache Yeah that's the worry. We get paid monthly, and the strike will start right after we're paid, so as long as it lasts less than a month we'll be ok. If it lasts longer, things might get hairy.

Academic Union Stuff 

@Analog @GreenandBlack @teslas_moustache start collecting a strike fund now i guess. start a donation page?

Academic Union Stuff 

@Analog @GreenandBlack @teslas_moustache those are probably the people you'll want to talk to most, especially if they have prior campaign experience.

Academic Union Stuff 

@Analog I have, but the most active I was was putting "this assignment graded by a union member" stickers on things, and then spending an hour or two on the picket line with some friends in the rain

We did get better childcare funding for grad students, and better international student health insurance

Academic Union Stuff 

@DialMforMara It's good to hear success stories like this, and we're fighting to keep our health insurance too (the administration is trying to make it far more expensive, we're just trying to keep it at where it is). How long did your strike end up lasting?

Academic Union Stuff 

@Analog The actual work stoppage and picket line were only about a week, but the action leading up to it (including those amazing stickers) was basically all of the spring and summer semesters.

Academic Union Stuff 

@Analog I was, back in the 1990s at Michigan. Is that too dated?

Academic Union Stuff 

@bryanalexander Nah, how long did it last?

Academic Union Stuff 

@Analog at NYU we came right up to our strike deadline and got a good contract. We were with UAW and strike pay & insurance was guaranteed for working (well, not anymore) members. There was an unsuccessful strike a decade before, broken in part because the admin threatened/bluffed that it would illegally rescind the visas of int. students. So ask your organizers to get out on front of that.

Academic Union Stuff 

@Analog if you can get solidarity work stoppages from other unions around you, that could be dope! I agree with the other person about getting support from the bigger teachers union too

Also, being honest with your undergrads about how your working conditions are their learning conditions — undergrad support can do a lot

Academic Union Stuff 

@jasminee We've got support from other unions, but critically all of their contracts prohibit them from striking in solidarity.

Academic Union Stuff 

@Analog I have been, three times. One of the things that appear to work well is if you get the lower tier of academic workers on your side too. The TAs, non-tenured lecturers, maybe even administrative staff etc.

Academic Union Stuff 

@Analog the McGill grad students went on strike while I was there, but the administration really played hardball, even using anti-scab legislation to fire striking TAs from research positions. It was not a success.

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