By Evan Henerson
The statement is compact, and the words are clear, powerful, carefully-chosen, and designed to be a roadmap for Guild activities going forward.
Local 1521’s new Vision Statement – approved by the Guild Executive Board in February - is the product of much discussion and member input, according to committee leaders who worked on crafting it.
“The statement reflects where we want to go as a union,” said Jonathan Klyng, a Philosophy instructor and CAT leader at Harbor College. “Whenever we plan programs or campaigns, we can look at this statement and say, ‘Hey back in 2021, these are what we decided were the most significant things we wanted to accomplish.’”
“In a way, the statement speaks to our genuine beliefs about where we see our union being in the future, and it’s also where we see us moving as a team,” he continued. “Not only does it paint a big picture, but it’s about what we can do to get there.”
The team approach was very much a part of the statement’s creation. In June of 2020, the Guild held a leadership summit, and the scale vision statement became a goal of the summit. The group built a word cloud and gave input into what they felt the statement should contain. Creation of the statement got tabled in the midst of the Guild’s contract campaign, but the team reassembled in November and met regularly to refine the message.
In addition to Klyng, team members included Vilma Bernal (Mission), Ruby Brougham (Valley), Mindy Chen – (1521 Recording Secretary and Co-Chief Negotiator), Sharon Hendricks, (1521 Treasurer and Retirement Liaison), Julio Tsuha (District-wide CAT Lead), Brian Walsh (Pierce)
and Jessica St. Paul (AFIC Chair). Klyng also credited Chase Golding and Seo Yun Son of the Guild’s Organizing Department for their help and guidance.
“If we want to really be big players in the future, we need a plan and we need to come together,” Klyng said. “I truly believe in the power of solidarity, in the power of strength in numbers, and in the power of genuinely setting up a plan for a future of our union. That’s why I wanted to be involved in this.”
Local 1521’s Vision Statement:
AFT 1521 is a member driven union of faculty who collectively bargain and work to improve the well-being of our members, our students, and our communities by:
- Improving our students’ learning conditions and our working conditions
- Creating inclusive space and opportunities for member engagement, mobilization, and leadership
- Organizing members to build power
- Advancing social justice and standing in solidarity with our students and communities