Congratulations to the NTFC Stewards Council for executing such an outstanding organizing drive over the past couple weeks. In addition, we welcome all members, colleagues, friends, and community members to our semesterly Work-In where NTFC will be completing our school supply drive with an exciting matching campaign!
GEO will also be there offering free tutoring services all night. So if you want to know more about how bargaining is going with the administration, stop on by, and see how you can support a fair contract for graduate employees.
This Week in Reflection
With the assistance of temporary organizers from AFT/IFT, Natalye Tate and Casey Sweeney, NTFC was able to increase membership by a noticeable percentage, and they left us with a comprehensive report of our capabilities including recommendations for moving forward. During the organizing drive, 15 NTFC members completed 41 hours of office visits with our temporary staff from IFT/AFT. We attempted 170 visits and actually found and talked to 53 people from our bargaining unit (a 31% find rate, which is really impressive), including 44 people from our bargaining unit that we spoke to for the first time! Even for those folks we did not find, we were able to fill in some gaps in our information, such as correct office locations or office hours—which will make future visits much easier. This was a great way to shake things up and reinvigorate NTFC as a local who is constantly strengthening our base. Let’s keep the momentum up in the New Year and make an hour of organizing conversations a weekly standard.
Join us on Reading Day, Thursday, December 14, for NTFC’s Work-In. The Work-In runs from 10am to 2pm, stop by anytime to chat or just to work. Everyone is welcome whether you’re a card-signed member, fee-payer, supporter, colleague, friend, or community member. There will be coffee, bagels, and pizza throughout the event, so come by the Illini Union Courtyard Café and look for the NTFC logo.
During the Work-In, we will also be concluding this semester’s School Supply Drive for Champaign-Urbana area schools. Any supplies donated will be matched either in item or cost by NTFC. That means for every notebook or pack of pencils you donate will actually have double the impact! Let’s show our area teachers and students how we support each other during this season of giving and family.
A new version of the Republican party’s tax plan passed the Senate by a vote of 51-49, split mostly along party lines except “Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee was the only Republican to vote against the bill, citing concerns about growing the deficit.” Since there are many differences between the versions the House and Senate voted on, Congress will have to make revisions to a final version before sending it to President Donald Trump to sign. Today, during the UIUC Academic Senate meeting, Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost John Wilkin expressed the University’s intention to continue to lobby against the inclusion of any item that would harm higher education and the affordability of graduate education. Even if all the predatory elements of the tax bill are removed, this plan still gives the greatest breaks to the wealthiest while starving the social structures that makes for a strong middle class. If you wish to have an impact on the final revision of this bill, contact Republican Representatives and let them know how their choices now will impact elections in 2018.
This time of year can be frantic, but it can also represent the best of what it means to come together as a community. Help NTFC prove that by donating school supplies. Prove it to the nation by helping the change the direction of the Republic tax reform. Happy grading. Happy holiday break.