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Emily Lardner

Evergreen’s faculty union, the United Faculty of Evergreen (UFE), has begun bargaining with the administration for its next contract. The purpose of this letter is to describe one thing I hope the UFE will bargain for and one I hope it won’t.

I’ll address the one I hope it won’t bargain for first—spousal hiring.  A good argument cannot be made for preferentially hiring the spouse or partner of a faculty member who has already been hired to teach at Evergreen. Yet, the union continues to entertain this position.

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“Do we understand the path we are taking here, by defining two classes of water, for two different groups of population?”

Dr Raul Gupta, head of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, West Virginia

—Evan Osnos, “Chemical Valley,” The New Yorker, April 7, 2014

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Maybe next year… 

It’s hard not to feel discouraged. In December 2013, Washington State’s Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup (CLEW), created by the 2013 Washington State Legislature to develop “a state program of actions and policies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” presented their opposing sets of recommendations—and now that the session has ended, we can only hope that they will continue their agreement to keep talking. Maybe next session something will happen.

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“Equality matters because human beings are creatures that thrive in societies where we are treated more as equals than as being greatly unequal…We work best, behave best, play best and think best when we are not laboring under the assumption that some of us are much better, more deserving and so much more able than others.

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Education as a strategy for addressing poverty depends on not being poor in the first place

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In support of the use of power: The naïve hope of a democratic system is that elected officials work on behalf of those who elect them. We’ve devolved from that as Susan Clark and Woden Teachout suggest in their book Slow Democracy. They argue that the dominant conception of democracy—voting—is analogous to the use of a public bathroom: an individual matter, done discretely. We enter the stall, close the door, do our private business, and exit.

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