I had spent most of my life doing social justice work and organizing. It has made me feel powerful and confident and I love doing it. After being diagnosed with epilepsy I knew I needed a stable job with good health insurance, so I took a break from organizing and got a job at Yale in the Development office.
Despite coming to the department expecting to step back from organizing, it quickly became clear that there were significant challenges in the department. Many workers were overworked and felt disrespected, and were ready to come together. Together we started a departmental fight asking for more staffing. Ninety-seven percent of the department signed petitions, we leafleted on campus during cold days, we delegated the provost, and we addressed management in many Employee Participation Meetings. We haven’t won yet, but we changed as a department; we know how to fight together for a better future, and we were organized and ready for our contract fight last year. Today our department is more organized and members stand up to managers when they feel disrespected. We have made EPMs the norm so that we have a voice in decisions that affect our work.
I am so proud and so grateful to be a part of the C&T community at Development. We still have a long way to go to make our department a great place to work for everyone, but we are all committed to getting there.