Union Protest: We need contracts!!
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 15:02
“What do we want…Contracts. When do we want it…Now!!” was the triumphant chant heard in the atrium of the S building of the Downtown Campus on Feb. 14 during the noon lunch interim. Union leaders, teachers and students joined forces rallying for contracts. “There is no love on Valentine’s Day, unless we get a contract. We don’t need chocolates or flowers but a contract,” says Michael Rosen, president of the Local 212, who lead the protest. Rosen then introduced Christine Woda, president of the 587 Union, who shared with the audience the back story, “We’ve been in negotiations since November 2012, trying to resolve many issues with management, but all they seem to get is resistance….we are an important part of this college and we demand and deserve respect.” With thunderous applause the crowd cheered and shouted. What they wanted was respect so they can continue to give the students of MATC the quality of education and respect they need to achieve their success.
Cindy Konieckzi, vice-president of the 587 Union took a moment to address the crowd and spoke openly on how she feels about the negotiations. “I’m getting a little tired of being pushed and told we don’t matter…We Do!! Every one of us who works for this college is here for a reason and for you, the students.” Konieckzi pleaded with the students in the audience letting them know they need our help. From the moment students register and take classes, they have already utilized the service workers in which this protest is fighting to protect. “This school has been producing quality graduates for over 100 years. We want to continue that reputation. We’re the biggest and best technical college in the country, because of the students, faculty and staff of 587,” Konieckzi proudly exclaims to motivate the crowd.
Fabian Rodriquez, president of the Latino Student Organization, spoke in gratitude of having teachers and other staff members here at MATC to assist him on his journey. “My success has been made possible by MATC staff… it’s time for us students to care about our staff. Every one of us has been affected by the budget cuts by Governor Scott Walker.”
Faculty workers and students must send a message united to management stating…they matter, now give them their contracts.