UHPA has carried out its work effectively without affiliation since voting to disaffiliate with NEA.
Defend the Attacks on Intellectualism
Even before the Janus decision, it was clear policy makers and big employers across the United States were coming after unions and the ability of unions to organize. Even though the Janus decision has not resulted in the death of unions, the attacks continue. Interwoven throughout the anti-union attack is the attack against intellectualism, which ultra-conservatives correctly view as impediments to their concerted effort to remove increasing elements of our long held and hard fought for civil rights. An uneducated population is easier to manage and ultimately rule.
This anti-intellectualism attack is now firmly and clearly focused on higher education.
Story after story of legislative and executive branch attacks against universities and colleges across the country pepper the news feeds daily. The picture is clear: too many politicians and their big money supporters believe the time is ripe to redesign higher education, private and public, into campuses that reinforce intolerance for so-called others and advance the continuing dismantling of civil and human rights.
Hawai‘i is Not Immune
Lest we think Hawai‘i is a bastion of blue, think otherwise. The machinations of a few elected officials, enabled by others who allow these behaviors, has increasingly targeted the University of Hawai‘i in ways that are more subtle than those enacted in states like Florida and Georgia through continuing defunding actions seen in the state budget. While UHPA has been able to successfully defeat legislation aimed at stripping away tenure and firing specific faculty members by eliminating their positions, the attacks increase every year. Being on the defensive is not sustainable.
UHPA Needs What AFT and AAUP Bring
To take on these continuing attacks at the state and national level, UHPA needs help. Affiliation with AFT provides us with the resources, knowledge, and experience of a vital and active national union which has an entire unit devoted to issues relevant to higher education. AFT’s affiliation with AAUP gives them the academic and curricular resources merged with AFT’s organizing and bargaining expertise.
To sustain and grow as a member-driven organization, UHPA must take the initiative and be affiliated with AFT.
Director, Kilohana: The Academic Success Center at UH-Hilo
Negotiations Team Chair and Board Vice President, UHPA