Climate and Environmental Justice
UMass Amherst Environmental and Social Action Movement (ESAM)
The MSP is engaged in climate justice work through a multi-union effort to address the climate crisis. As union members and workers we aim to leverage our power to bargain with the administration around climate justice proposals which support the campus goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2032 including good union job opportunities. The multi-union group has several goals to achieve broad support for climate justice bargaining proposals, including:
- Educating ourselves as members across unions
- Reaching out to students and inspiring action
- Building alliances with other campus and community groups
- Participating in bargaining on climate justice proposals
In Spring of 2021, the multi-union group linked arms with students to form the UMass Amherst Environmental and Social Action Movement (ESAM). For more information please contact Madeleine Charney, chairperson, MSP Climate Justice Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is climate a labor issue?
By making climate a labor issue, we ensure that the inevitable transition to a low carbon economy takes into account the well being of affected workers. Our aim for a "just transition" means a fair process that does not cost any workers or community residents their health, environment, pay or benefits. At the same time, the very future of a livable planet is at stake; it is critical that powerful organizations like unions successfully work with employers to dramatically decrease their institution’s carbon footprint.
On October 14, 2021 ESAM hosted a Community Forum on Climate Change. There was a panel discussion on climate change, environmental justice and local initiatives for change featuring speakers who are unions organizers, students, local activists and Native American leaders. You can view the recording.
On June 22, 2021, 174 UMass Amherst employees attended an all-union member meeting joined by undergraduate and graduate students. The focus was sharing PSU, USA and MSP bargaining proposals that support and expand on the campus’ drive to be carbon neutral by 2032. The union proposals address remote work, additional campus closure days, incentives to reduce driving, retrofitting and green renovations of campus buildings, and more efficient heating and cooling across campus.
UMass Climate Justice Resources
- MSP Member Madeleine Charney on the radio discussing union sustainability proposals with Max Page (MTA VP and MSP member) starting at 32:45
- Presentation by Madeleine Charney to MSP members at 4/29/21 General Assembly giving overview the climate justice campaign
- Carbon Mitigation Questions and Answers from the Carbon Mitigation Task Force
- Summary of Carbon Mitigation planning to Campus Leadership Council
- Video detailing UMass Amherst Carbon Mitigation plan overview