Director – Julie Kushner
First elected Region 9A director in June 2010, Kushner has been a union activist and leader for more than 30 years.
In 1977 she joined District 65, an independent union that later affiliated with the UAW. She participated in many successful organizing drives, including for clerical and administrative support staff at Columbia University, various trade schools, and public and nonprofit organizations.
In 1992 Kushner became the first president of UAW Local 2110, an amalgamated local with units in a variety of nonmanufacturing settings. As local president, Kushner was responsible for collective bargaining for more than 35 Technical, Office and Professional (TOP) units, including Barnard College, Teachers College of Columbia, the Museum of Modern Art and The Village Voice. Kushner has been particularly committed to the fight for contract language to protect workers’ health and safety, and to promote women’s and family issues.
In 1994 then-UAW President Owen Bieber appointed Kushner to the International staff at Region 9A and assigned her to education. In 1998 then-UAW President Stephen P. Yokich appointed Kushner as subregional director in the New York Region 9A office under the leadership of then-Director Phil Wheeler. During her tenure as subregional director, the union was successful in organizing thousands of graduate student employees and adjunct faculty at New York University and the part-time faculty at the New School University.
In 2006 Kushner was appointed assistant director of Region 9A by newly elected Director Bob Madore. In addition to her administrative responsibilities in the region, Kushner worked with the Foxwoods Resort Casino organizing staff and committee, which resulted in an overwhelming election victory by 2,500 dealers in November 2007. Kushner led the campaign and negotiations for a first contract that was overwhelmingly ratified in January 2010.
Under Kushner’s leadership Region 9A has continued its aggressive organizing program, and Julie personally has been involved in more than 30 organizing campaigns and successfully negotiated more than a dozen first contracts. In addition, she has helped to establish four new local unions in Region 9A. Recent organizing victories include regaining union recognition for graduate employees at NYU, and union recognition at the University of Connecticut, bringing in to the UAW 3,500 new members.
Involved in a number of civic organizations, she served as a board member of the New York Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, the Working Families Party and Citizen Action of New York. Kushner has worked to expand Region 9A’s coalition building program, bringing labor and community groups together to elect progressive candidates and win support for UAW members, their families, and their communities.
She is currently an active member of the Connecticut Democratic Party and was elected as an alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Kushner was elected Delegate to 2012 Democratic National Convention. She also serves as a member of the Danbury Democratic Town Committee. Kushner is chair of the Connecticut Working Families Party. She is a member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), LCLAA and a lifelong member of the NAACP.
Kushner lives in Connecticut with her husband, Larry Morgan. Julie and Larry have three children: Ole, Raychel and Cara, and four grandchildren.