November 30, 2011

NW12-008

To:†††††††††††††††††† Northwest Regional Council Delegates

From:††††††††††††† Northwest Council Labor Delegates Committee

Subject:†††††††††† PRE-SUBMITTED NEW BUSINESS: Support for the Washington State Labor Education & Research Center and the Washington State Labor Archive

 

Background

Preserving our stateís labor union history and expanding our labor education capacity is an important part of rebuilding the labor movementís infrastructure.The organized labor community celebrated the grand opening of the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center (LERC) on Friday, February 11, 2011 at the Georgetown Campus of South Seattle Community College.The location of this statewide labor education program in south Seattle, where we have significant union density and many of our apprenticeship training programs, will play a critical role in helping build laborís educational and training infrastructure.

The LERC will help supplement union-centered labor education, help us prepare current and new leaders for the labor movement, help create a pathway for young people into our unions, provide research support for issues important to working people and union organizing drives, and reach out to laborís community coalition partners.The budget of the LERC has been severely impacted by recent budget cuts as a result of the ďgreat recession.Ē

The Washington State Labor Archive, located at the University of Washington, has been created to preserve the history of our unions and the labor movement in the Northwest and to make these materials available for both researchers and the general public.The Labor Archive is at the moment wholly dependent on private fund raising.

Neither the budget for the LERC nor the budget for the Labor Archive is acceptable relative to our needs, and public funding is not currently forthcoming.

The Washington State Labor Council Executive Board, at the May 10, 2011 meeting, approved a three-year funding campaign with a goal of raising $200,000 a year in each of the next three years to fund the LERC and the Labor Archive [$150,000 for the LERC and $50,000 for the Labor Archive] by working with its affiliates and the advisory committees for the LERC and the Labor Archive to secure pledges from unions and union allies, after which time additional funding will be sought for these programs through public funding.

The Washington State Labor Council has shown its commitment to this funding campaign by building into its annual budget $20,000 [$15,000 for the LERC and $5,000 for the Labor Archive] for each of the next three years to help build our labor education infrastructure.

SPEEA has taken advantage of classes offered by the LERC in the past, and will most likely do so again in the future.As regards the Labor Archive, our History Club is planning to deposit certain of our artifacts there.The amount requested in the motion reflects a matching of the financial commitment made by the IAM for this cause.

Motion

It is moved that the SPEEA Northwest Regional Council demonstrate its support for the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center (LERC) and the Washington State Labor Archive by making a contribution of $10,000 [$7,500 for the LERC and $2,500 for the Labor Archive] for each of the next three (3) fiscal years, to begin in our 2012-13 fiscal year.