After working at Yale for a number of years, I was confronted with a crisis in our department. The administration proposed cutting many positions in the Humanities down from a year to ten months. This was unnecessary austerity that would have harmed the standard of these jobs and adversely affected our ability to support our departments. The department chairs and the workers agreed that this was a bad plan. I met with the workers who would be affected by this change in my and other departments. We joined together to fight for our work and our jobs. I was hesitant moving forward with this fight because I had never been in a fight with this intensity and stakes over my own work. But I’m glad I jumped into it, and after several employee participation meetings, we came to an agreement that helped all of us. This victory taught me the value of fighting for the dignity of my job, and it was inspiring to use my voice to stand up for myself and my co-workers.
With the inspiration from this victory, I started stepping up in bigger ways. In 2012, I joined our Executive Board and pushed our members from across the University to become stronger leaders. Together with members on the Executive Board and the Yale Administration, we developed a C&T Training program that helps our members improve their skills and grow faster in their jobs. To this day, I help put this training program together. Finally, in the most recent contract negotiations, I served as a representative for Local 34 on the Policy Board. I’m proud of the contract and historic job security victories that we won and am excited to continue fighting as a leader of our union.
Ann DeLauro is a Senior Administrative Assistant II in the Department of Italian Studies. She works directly with the chair of the department performing a wide set of tasks including financial upkeep, student registration work, assisting graduate students, faculty searches, reappointments and evaluations for faculty, and much more.