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“You’re So Adorable”


Dear FSU Members,

Yesterday the FSU Contract Action Team hosted our first public demonstration of support for Expanded Bargaining, following a hybrid forum to discuss the status of our main table bargaining (Quick version: administration continues to insist we bargain in secret, behind-closed doors without our expanded team able to participate) and the parking bargaining we are currently engaged in as part of a coalition alongside our fellow unions PSU, CSU, and DCU.

We started with a fun and practical sign-making session, followed by some reports and spirited discussion. In addition to a robust turnout from FSU members we were joined by a heartening number of undergraduates, including representatives of student government who made clear they stand in solidarity with our efforts to advocate for the interests of the broader community at UMB. 

Then came our rally outside the room where administrators were due to arrive for the parking bargaining meeting. We stood together holding signs (see picture attached) and chanting in unison “What do we want? Expanded Bargaining! When do we want it? Now!” among other catchy slogans. When UMB’s Executive Director of Labor Relations, Mickey Gallagher—the lead negotiator for the administration’s bargaining team— arrived, we stopped the chants to allow our Core Bargaining Team (CBT) chair Jason Rodriquez deliver a message. Jason publicly disputed the mendacious claims the administration has been making about the CBT and reiterated our intent to bargain with our expanded team.

When Jason finished, Mickey spoke directly to him: “You’re so adorable.”

Consider the power dynamics embodied in calling someone “adorable.” Who gets called “adorable”?

An 8-month-old union baby – a child of two UMB faculty members – was at the rally, and it is well within our cultural norms to refer to that child as “adorable.”

But a grown man? An accomplished and committed faculty member? Being called adorable by the UMB Executive Director of Labor Relations? Really? Yes, really.

With this one phrase, Mickey Gallagher made it clear she considers herself the only “adult” in the room. She seems to think that our rally was “adorable,” that our proposals are “adorable,” and that our insistence on expanded bargaining is “adorable.” The administration wants closed-door, back room bargaining in secret. We don’t. The FSU believes in democratic bargaining. We believe you have the right to see the negotiations that shape our working conditions. Recent court rulings (“The Belmont Decisions”) have enshrined that right, and the FSU has established it as our policy. We remain committed to the legally protected right to expanded bargaining. As our members chanted, “It worked last time, why not NOW? Expanded bargaining must be allowed!”

The lead negotiator of the administration’s bargaining team called us “adorable.” We don’t think that is cute.

We don’t want to put words in Mickey Gallagher’s mouth, but in the spirt of constructive dialogue we have a dozen suggestions of what she could appropriately call FSU members: committed, well-informed, energetic, knowledgeable, transparent, vibrant, industrious, insightful, eloquent, resourceful, learned, dynamic.


The Contract Action Team*

*[The Contract Action Team, or CAT, is an FSU committee that supports the Core Bargaining Team.   To join, please email:]