Meet Amy...

As your Chair, I would offer years of experience in the Local, fluency with its finances, and the support of a dedicated team. I have been your Secretary-Treasurer for two years, UTM Campus Steward for three years, and, before that, Remote Pickets Coordinator in the 2015 strike. I was a member of the Unit 1 Bargaining Team in 2017-18, and, in 2020, I am its Co-Chief Negotiator. I believe that solidarity, transparency, and care are the starting points for social change.

For me, solidarity means building relationships based on mutual respect. In the 2015 strike, I organized remote work for members who could not be on the picket lines and, with OkCUPE, facilitated new connections. As Campus Steward, I held trivia nights that built community while educating members about their workplace rights. In my time as Secretary-Treasurer, I budgeted for donations to allies in need, including equity service groups targeted by the so-called “Student Choice Initiative.” A highlight of my work has been bargaining, designing, and continually improving the new Unit 1 Trans, Survivors, and International Workers Funds alongside community members and allies. Currently, in response to members’ appeals and in consultation with many bodies of the Local, I am developing a COVID-19 Emergency Fund to help members excluded from existing government and university supports. My commitment to solidarity can lead us through this uncertain year.

I also understand the importance of transparency in union leadership. As Secretary-Treasurer, I have always taken member input seriously, especially in developing funds and in preparing the two budgets I have been responsible for. Moreover, I have strived to make my financial reports as clear and informative as possible. Transparency is now more important than ever, as we face the dual threats of anti-worker governments and the inequitable disruptions of COVID-19. In the year ahead, we will face a hard choice between fighting a brave, political battle and working creatively within the constraints of our current circumstances. As Chair, I will equip the membership with the information they need to navigate these options.

Finally, the workers’ movement is nothing if not rooted in care. This has been the motivation behind all my work for the Local, whether in generously administering funds or in creating accessible ways to participate in the 2015 strike. With the Mental Health Action Committee, I have worked on initiatives that center the importance of caring for our students, including a set of equity-informed guidelines on late penalties and extensions. I also know that union work can take a toll, so we need a culture in which we respect each other’s boundaries and dignity.

I am running as part of a slate of candidates, many of whom have already been acclaimed. I’m so excited to have the support of such a smart and kind team, and to endorse Hamish Russell and Glenna Kramer as our next CRS and ELO. Visit www.insolidarity2020.com to learn more.