WA Faculty Forward | March 24, 2017
Thank you to everyone who turned out for our day-long walkout! We are the top story in Thursday’s Olympian. Read the article here!
Our day-long walkout was a resounding success. A majority of classes were canceled and classrooms around the campus were empty. Faculty and students participated in rallies, marches, panels, and off campus actions. We called on president Heynderickx to follow the labor laws of our country, follow the teachings of his church, uphold the Benedictine values his school preaches, and come bargain with our union in good faith.
The most moving part of the day’s action was the lunch panel of women faculty who each gave emotional personal testimony of the ways they’ve been disrespected, ignored, and unprofessionally treated on campus. The crowded lecture hall went between tears and standing ovations for their courage to speak out. Several faculty and students shared afterward that it was the most powerful moment that they have ever experienced in their years at Saint Martin’s.
In the afternoon, after an off-campus march, delegations of faculty and students traveling in vans visited the workplaces of over a dozen members of the Board of Trustees and delivered letters calling on them to adhere to the law, recognize our union, and come to the bargaining table. We followed up the visits with phone calls to their businesses asking them to use their influence to bring President Heynderickx to the bargaining table with faculty.
Karen Hart, the president of SEIU Local 925 and Heather Conroy, the Executive Vice President for SEIU, both came to speak at our morning rally and gave us encouragement from the National Day of Labor Action events for adjuncts in higher education happening all over the country. Members of 1199NW and the United Faculty of Evergreen State College, who know the benefits that a union can bring to both employees and the institution they serve, also turned out in solidarity.