The 2013 UALE Conference in Toronto Ontario, closed on Saturday, April 20, with an Awards Lunch at which several well-deserving labor educators received UALE's annual achievement awards.
Among the honorees were D'Arcy Martin, of the Center for the Study of Education and Work at the University of Toronto, for Lifetime Achievement; and The Labor Education Program at the University of Illinois for Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Labor Education in 2012. The Illinois Labor Education Program, and in particular Director Bob Bruno and Steve Ashby, were honored for their work with the Chicago teachers Union last year.
The entire Program Book for the 2013 UALE Conference is now available for download here. UALE-2013-Program-Book5.pdf
More than just a listing of the various sessions and activities planned for the Conference, the Program Book contains detailed descriptions of workshops and presentations; abstracts of papers; information about UALE, its governance, its Working Groups, and its affiliated organizations; a listing of participants registered for the conference; and more.
Please note that even though the final Program Book has gone to the printer, there may still be further changes in the confernce schedule. So keep checking back to the Conference page for the latest updates.
The 2013 UALE Conference is about to start in Toronto. Registration will be open in the Metropolitan Hotel from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm today, April 16. Visit the Conference 2013 page, which is being updated continually with new information about sessions, labor walking tours and other conference-related activities. (Latest updates: 4/11/2013)
This year's theme is "Across Boundaries: What are Workers Saying and Doing?", and in keeping with the theme, we are holding the conference across the border from our usual venues, in Toronto, Canada. So make sure your passports are up to date! This will be our first Canadian conference since UALE was offically launched in 2001.
Our three plenary sessions “Speed Dating Across Boundaries”, “Town Hall Meeting on Labor/Labour Education”, and "Challenging Global Austerity" promise to be innovative and engaging in form as well as in content.
40 break-out sessions include roundtables, academic paper sessions, and hands-on participatory workshops. Details of the breakout sessions can be downloaded here (in draft form): Concurrent sessions 4-11 draft
Participants will also have the opportunity to join -- or form-- Working Groups to carry on work and networking in their areas of interest in between annual conferences.
Among the enjoyable "extracurricular activities" planned for us by our Canadian brothers and sisters will be music, art installations and other performances. See the "Arts at UALE" page for details.
There are also museums and galleries in the immediate neighborhood that showcase the rich history of Canada's working class, immigrants and First Peoples.
The UALE Executive Board is pleased to announce the recipients of the UALE 2012 research award.
The 2012 award will support the research of Cindy Hanson and Adriane Paavo. Their project, "Sustaining Transformation: Building on the Success of the Prairie School for Union Women," will evaluate the movement-building potential of a women's labor education school in Saskatchewan.
Cindy Hanson is an education professor at the University of Regina, and Adriane Paavo is education officer of the Saskatchewan Government and Employees General Union. They will be assisted in their research by the steering committee for the Prairie School for Union Women.
We look forward to having the authors present the results of their research to UALE audiences once it is completed.
In a move that took the Labor Studies Program by surprise, the administration of UMass Boston has decided to “inactivate” the Labor Studies undergraduate degree program at the university effective immediately.
The reason given was low enrollment, but there are other programs on campus with lower enrollments that are not threatened. In addition, the Labor Reource Center operates in the black. And it is unclear that shutting the program will save any money, as all the same courses will continue to be offered for certificate students. This decision closes the only bachelor’s program in Labor Studies in our state and region. It is therefore of the upmost importance that the Massachusetts public university system continue to offer this program.
Please take a few minutes to let the UMass Boston know that you want to bring back the Labor Studies Undergraduate Degree Program.
- Better still, send them a letter. Letters often get more attention.
- We have also created a petition online. We would appreciate your circulating it among other sympathetic people.
For details on sending letters of support, click on Read More.
The UALE Education Directors Meeting took place on November 15 at the AFT headquarters in Washington D.C. Thirty-eight educators from unions and universities gathered from around the country.
The agenda focused on critical issues of importance to labor educators. A highlight of the meeting was a video-conference with President Karen Lewis, the leader of the recent Chicago Teacher’s strike, and key members of her team. The interactive conversation was an inspiring example of a powerful labor victory for teachers and public sector workers.
The Labor Education program at City College San Francisco is currently facing a crisis. The program is part of a larger group of programs called the CCSF Diversity Departments (Ethnic, Women's, Interdisciplinary, LGBT and Labor and Community Studies). These programs were created as a result of student struggles in the 1960's, and have been built and maintained by generations of further hard struggle since then.
Now, they are all threatened with cutbacks, consolidation and an end to democratic governance.
Supporters of the Diversity Departments have set up an online petition at:
Out of town supporters are welcome to sign.
If you live in the San Francisco area, you can join their Rally on Thursday, November 15th at Noon. Meet at Ram Plaza on CCSF Ocean Campus.
For background information, keep reading
By Bill Shields
The Western Region UALE meeting on September 14th and 15th in San Francisco brought together labor educators from colleges, unions and workers' centers for two days of networking and presentations. The program was hosted by Verlene Jones, Western Region Representative, and City College of San Francisco's Labor and Community Studies Department (LBCS).
Some forty participants from the Bay Area, Seattle, Portland and Eugene met over the weekend, starting with dinner at Sinbad's Restaurant on the waterfront on Friday night.
The Brochure for the 2013 UALE conference in Toronto has come out and is posted on the Conference 2013 page of this website.
The theme of the conference will be: "Across boundaries, what are workers saying and doing?" Proposals for papers, workshops and other presentations are being accepted until November 9 (Nov. 2 for papers submitted for the Labor Studies Journal Special Session.)
Visit the Conference 2013 page to download the brochure, and for more information about the conference: registration, accomodations, passport information and more.
Three UALE member organizations: the City University of New York's Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, the Harvard Law School Labor and Worklife Program, and the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education, have been awarded a two-year grant from the US State Department advance the field of labor relations in China.
The American universities will partner with Shanghai Normal University's School of Law and Political Science in a multi-level project to develop programs in China ranging from a non-credit extension service to graduate level courses.
Click on "Read More" for a more detailed description of the "Advancing the Field of Labor Relations" project.
"The United Association for Labor Education firmly support the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), AFT Local 1, in their efforts to secure a fair contract that will enable them to give their students the best opportunities."
Thus begins a Statement of Support for the CTU voted on Sept. 13 by the UALE Executive Board. Noting that the CTU has already agreed to work a longer day, the statement points out that the teachers are fighting for the best interests of the students, not just for themselves.
The UALE EBoard urges members to circulate the statement and get their own organizations to pass and publicize similar resolutions
Read the full statement below.
Two UALE members, Mary Bellman and Ruth Needleman, recently participated in a 10-person delegation organized by Witness for Peace to monitor labor rights in Colombia. Specifically, the mission of the delegation, which took place July 20-30, was to investigate the compliance with the Labor Action Plan passed as part of the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia.
Meeting with multiple affected groups and NGO's, the group found "multiple and egregious violations of the plan in the areas of Cooperatives, Collective Pacts, and Violence and Impunity, as well as a lack of response to the troubling consequences of the FTA for women in Colombia."
They point out that the Free Trade Agreement now makes the US complicit in these violations, and call on the US Embassy in Colombia to do all it can to remedy the situation.
A full report published by the delegation in August can be seen here:Colombia Labor Report
Starting in January 2013, UALE will begin awarding grants to fund research related to workers, unions, and employment policy. Preference will be given to UALE members in determining award recipients.
UALE has allocated $5,000 for this purpose. We will select a maximum of two award recipients.
The deadline for applications for next year's grants is September 15, 2012.
More information and an application form can be downloaded here: UALE Research Award Form
Papers accepted and presented at the conference will then be eligible to undergo a peer review process for possible publication in a special conference issue of Labor Studies Journal.
The Call for Papers says in part,
"Austerity measures aimed at undermining the economic, political, and social supports for building and sustaining working-class power have become a trademark of governments at all levels and of all political stripes. The current era of austerity, characterized by jobs cuts, pension clawbacks, privatizations, cuts to health benefits, reduced education funding, attacks on the prevailing wage, the negotiation of two-tier wage agreements, and the introduction of right-to-work laws, are having, and will continue to have, profound consequences for working people and their unions in both the private and public sectors. State-led attacks on labor have been facilitated by the fragmentation of labor movements, declines in union density, and the demobilization of the working class."
"However, the rollback of labor rights, and the undermining of workers’ social rights more generally, has not gone uncontested. From occupations to demonstrations, and legal action to political action, resistance to austerity measures exists in many different strategic forms. We welcome papers that explain, examine, and interrogate labor’s strategic approach to confronting austerity."
For the full text, download the Call here: LSJ Call 2013
UALE endorses the extraordinary movement of students, workers, families, the employed and unemployed, and people across the political spectrum who have joined the demonstrations called Occupy Wall Street. We agree that now is the right time to protest what Wall Street has done to our society, specifically our jobs, wages, savings, healthcare, retirement, educational system and physical infrastructure. As labor educators, we have studied and taught the realities of growing inequality for many years. We are happy to accept the challenge to our teaching practice raised by OWS and the worldwide movement of which it is a part.