Rich Schiavoni

Rich Schiavoni
Point Park University, Adjunct Professor
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Local Number 1088, USW District # 10
Years as USW Member: 7

What is unusual about your hometown, place of work or job?

My family is a big Italian family, and all of my grandmother’s brothers, they worked in the mills, they worked on the railroad, they were all in a union. I’m proud that I get to carry on that tradition in a different way.

What does this year’s theme, “Everybody’s Union” mean to you?

Four years ago, I went to the District 10 conference. We were talking to members there about the different things they did, what they made. When they asked me what I made, I said, “I make college students.” I’m constantly blown away by the diversity of what members do and what they make.

What issues will be important when your Local’s contract expires?

The big thing for us as adjuncts, we make less than 50 percent of what the lowest-paid full-time instructor makes. Our members make up two-thirds of the teaching faculty, yet we have very little job security, we have no pension. It’s about fair pay and job security for our members.

What’s your go-to dance move?

I try to do the Rockettes’ kick line, but I can’t get my legs up high enough.

Every leader has a good tune to walk out to when introduced. What’s your walk-up song?

“Sympathy for the Devil,” by the Rolling Stones.

Who would you most like to have dinner with, and why: Jennifer Lopez, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, George R.R. Martin, Liz Cheney, Michael Jordan or Drake?

I can’t decide between Liz Cheney and the Rock. I teach political science, so I want to say Liz Cheney because I have so many questions I’d like to ask her. But the Rock is just electrifying.

What things have you done or hope to do while you’re here?

I’m looking forward to getting to speak in front of the plenary as an organizer on Tuesday. To get up and be a part of the democratic process is so important.

Have you yet decided how you will put the convention to work when you return home?

Even on the way here, on the plane, people were talking, asking questions, wanting to know where I was from. To be able to take that energy and enthusiasm back to the local and use it to educate members is a great opportunity.

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