Support WeROC Allies EMUFT!

WeROC friends and supporters — 

First, an important announcement:  We’ve decided it makes sense to cancel the September WeROC Meeting of the Whole.  In the meantime, our Clergy Caucus has been taking the lead in exploring how WeROC might best participate in the November county-wide milllage vote for mental health and public safety funding.  Expect a report soon from meetings with key County Commissioners happening this week, which may be leading to a major public meeting before November.  Please begin thinking about how we all would turn out big numbers from our organizations and networks for such an event.  More to come about the October 5 Meeting of the Whole..

Now here’s the urgent request:  Our good friends — and WeROC co-founders — EMU Federation of Teachers needs our help at an especially frustrating point in their many months of bargaining.  At the very time when WeROC is ramping up our narrative about moving toward greater equity across Washtenaw County, EMU’s administration is suddenly digging in on a position that would be another blow not just to employees of the University, but more broadly to the the economy of our County, especially in the eastern part that EMU calls home.
Please read below about the administration’s misplaced priorities and their short-sighted effort to “balance the budget on the backs of the lowest paid teachers.”  Then take 5 minutes to call the offices of the President and the Provost as soon as you can.  Say you’re a taxpayer, and you expect your tax dollars to go toward boosting, not draining, the economy of the communities around EMU — which clearly includes a fair contract for part-time lecturers.
We can all be proud of the work we’ve done to build WeROC to this point.  Now let’s show the EMU administration what community solidarity looks like!
Tad Wysor, Volunteer WeROC Organizer
[From David Hecker, President of AFT of Michigan]
 Support EMU Part-Time Lecturers, Call EMU President and Provost
After six months and more than 120 hours of negotiations, EMU administration’s proposals continue to slash job security for Part Time Lecturers, who teach 45% of the courses, and give clear financial incentives to hire new lecturers over existing PTLs.  Lecturers are represented by the Eastern Michigan Federation of Teachers.
EMU’s lead negotiator insisted that monetarily the proposals are “literally everything we have.” and that they need to “establish an entry level tier that [they] can balance the budget on”.
–      This “entry level tier” is a pay cut of $450 per course taught.
–      This “entry level tier” is below the first bargained rate by EMUFT in 2011.
–      Since 2011, tuition at EMU has increased 37%
–      Only 7% of the tuition revenue generated by a typical class goes towards PTL pay.
President Smith’s bio begins: “President Smith has led an active initial year at Eastern, undertaking many positive strategic initiatives.”
–      Are gutting job security and cutting pay for the lowest paid teachers both positive and strategic initiatives on campus? Call the President at 734-487-2211 and insist that a fair contract for Part Time Lecturers is a positive and strategic initiative on campus! 
Provost Longworth said upon her appointment, “Our committed faculty, staff and leadership team serve and inspire students day in, day out with their dedication and commitment.”
–      Does this explain why we should accept devastating cuts for the lowest paid teachers on campus? Call the Provost at 734-487-3200 and demand her dedication and commitment to Part Time Lecturers through a fair contract!
By the way, head football coach Chris Creighton last month was offered a 2.5% raise every year until 2022, bringing his current base salary to $425,000, and President Jim Smith received a $60,000 raise over his predecessor when he was hired for $400,000 last summer. EMU is trying to balance the budget on the backs of the lowest paid teachers on campus while putting athletics and administration first!

WeROC August 2017 Meeting of the Whole

Join us for our next WeROC Meeting of the Whole:

When: Thursday, August 3 at 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Where: First Congregational UCC Church, 218 N Adams St, Ypsilanti

This month, we will discuss how we can best become involved in designing and passing a major county-wide millage to fund critically needed general mental health related services through the Sheriff’s Department.

Tad Wysor  –

July ’17 Meeting of the Whole

Join us today for our July 2017 WeROC Meeting of the Whole:

Thursday July 6, 5:30 PM
New Beginnings Community Church, 4859 Ellsworth, Ypsilanti

(Light dinner provided.)
Here’s what’s happening: If you’ve been to any of our community organizing trainings, you know that the lifeblood of WeROC and MOSES is action…smart, collective, effective action, that lives out our values. Not only that, though, we design our action campaigns to create meaningful improvements and at the same time build WeROC as a powerful local and regional organization. Well, as you read this, WeROC leaders have begun seriously exploring how we can best become involved in designing and passing a major county-wide millage to fund critically needed general mental health related services through the Sheriff’s Department.

Tad Wysor  –

WeROC Meeting of the Whole 6-1

Our June “first Thursday” Meeting of the Whole is Thursday, June 1, 5:30-7:15 pm, at Strong Tower Ministries, 134 Spencer Ln, Ypsilanti Township. (Light dinner provided). And isn’t this exactly the kind of time when, more than ever, we need good people from a lot of backgrounds and perspectives and experiences to get together and listen to each other? So much around us is changing so fast, and so much of it is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before — especially the rapid increase in major policy decisions being made or considered that seem designed to take more away from those among us who have already have been living with too much economic and racial and social inequity for too long.

WeROC May Meeting of the Whole

Thursday, May 4, is our monthly WeROC Meeting of the Whole:

5:30 pm – 7:15 pm
Community Church of God
565 Jefferson Avenue
Ypsilanti, MI 48197.

Light dinner provided. Learn of next actions on education (followup to meeting with Ypsi Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Edmonson) and on public safety (plans for Neighborhood Listening Campaign near Community Church of God in Ypsi).

Come learn how you can make these powerful upcoming actions stronger with your participation.

April 6 Meeting of the Whole

When:  Thursday April 6, 5:30-7:15 pm
Where: Beth Israel Congregation, 2010 Washtenaw, Ann Arbor (Building to the left of the main building).

Light dinner provided. Learn of next actions on education (followup to meeting with Ypsi Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Edmonson) and on public safety (plans for Neighborhood Listening Campaign near Community Church of God in Ypsi).

Protest Trump in Ypsilanti

WeROC leaders welcome whoever may be able to show up at this protest at Willow Run Airport tomorrow (Wednesday 3-15). As you may know, the president is coming to town to drop his announcements about his plans for EPA and our climate change programs.
Our friends at Michigan to Believe In have quickly put this together, gotten the Sheriff on board, and are now looking to build the numbers.  Hope you can come.

American Red Cross Opening Two Warming Centers

Posted for those in the WeROC community who may still be without power after this week’s wind storm or otherwise need emergency shelter:

The American Red Cross will be operating two overnight warming centers in Washtenaw County beginning today.
Washtenaw International High School
510 Emerick St, Ypsilanti, MI 48198
Bates Elementary School
2704 Baker Rd, Dexter, MI 48130
Both of these overnight warming centers will open at 6PM this evening
In addition to these warming centers, the Lincoln School district will be operating a temporary warming center at the high school.
Lincoln High School
7425 Willis Road
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
(Enter through the east entrance by the Main Office)
Open today from 11AM until 9AM Saturday morning
This location will provide a warm space, bathroom facilities, running water, shower facilities, and meals. In partnership with Aramark, free meals will be served to anyone who is at the building during the following times:
Dinner will be served at 6:00 p.m. Showers will be available at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and 7:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. You must bring your own towel and toiletries. In addition, anyone who would like to remain in the building overnight will need to be at LHS by 10:30 p.m. and leave by 9:00 a.m. If you leave the building after 10:30 p.m., you will not be able to re-enter.
• Children must be accompanied by an adult the entire time they are in the building
• No pets
• Red Cross will provide cots & blankets along with basic hygiene items
• Bring your own pillows
Further availability of these locations through the weekend will be determined based on need
Please call 734-971-5300 ext. 213 with any additional questions

International Women’s Day Activities

danGaiMarchFor those who might want to participate, there are activities around the International Women’s Day Strike in Ann Arbor today, March 8 2017:

Rally and March – 5 PM, Liberty Plaza (310 S. Division St), Ann Arbor
Facebook event

Historical background:

The origins of the holiday can be traced back to March 8, 1857, when garment workers in New York City staged a protest against inhumane working conditions and low wages, according to the United Nations. The police attacked the protesters and dispersed them, but the movement continued and led to the creation of the first women’s labor union.

“Fast forward to March 8, 1908: 15,000 women marched in New York City for shorter work hours, better pay, voting rights, and an end to child labor. The slogan “Bread and Roses” emerged, with bread symbolizing economic security and roses for better living standards.

“Many of those who protested for working rights were young immigrants from Europe who came to the United States seeking better opportunities, says Carol Rosenblatt of the Coalition of Labor Union Women.”…/where-did-international-women-…