William Shields is chair of the Labor and Community Studies program at City College of San Francisco.
On Tuesday, August 6th, AFT 2121, the City College of San Francisco teacher’s union, began contract negotiations with the administration of the college. The local, under the leadership of president Alisa Messer, had requested immediate, open discussions. The administration agreed, and this will allow a significant number of members to attend the talks. This then becomes part of a mobilization that addresses both working conditions and the campaign to retain the school’s accreditation. The local hopes to secure a good agreement as quickly as possible and then put renewed effort into the accreditation fight.
Over a hundred organizers and students of organizing from a wide array of unions, community and educational groups attended the Organize! – The Art and Science of Organizing conference at City College of San Francisco last month. The all-day conference was hosted by the college’s Labor and Community Studies Department and brought participants together to share lessons learned from each other’s organizing campaigns. The conference was English-Spanish bilingual throughout.
Why do we organize? How do we link workplace, community and electoral campaigns? How do we connect internal and external organizing? How does member-organizing fit into a comprehensive campaign? How should we use the social media?
All these questions and more will be addressed at “ORGANIZE! The Art and Science of Organizing,” and exciting conference on organizing for labor and community power in the 21st century.