De authorizing the Union = Everyone is On Their Own

In recent emails, the Stop Openness group is critical of our union for not doing more for part-timers in Science Institute.

We’ve never claimed to “protect jobs.” What we did is join together to ensure fairness and due process. The college is free to eliminate positions, but our contract requires that union members receive the following:

• 90 days written notification
• 12 days off with full pay to attend job interviews
• at least 2 weeks of full pay as severance

Because the college failed to give proper notification to part-time staff in Science Institute, the union fought for those members, and won them compensation.

Without the union, the college has eliminated people, for whatever reason, and with no process or discussion at all.

The anti-union group also writes, “The College can come up with a raise for staff, but the union can’t?”

But our contract requires that all bargaining unit members receive (at least) the same raise as nonunion staff.

Negotiations are currently in progress, but we are working for a better deal than what the administrators have announced for nonunion staff.

We encourage everyone to get their information from a credible source – read our contract, talk to us directly. Strident emails with contorted math and myths are just not the way to bring people together.

15 responses to “De authorizing the Union = Everyone is On Their Own

  1. I am very comfortable having the administration and Board of Trustees control my position. They have treated me very well and recognized my hard work. This is also how private colleges in America typically work. And most function quite well, without force-unionization.

  2. To me, de-authorization gives people the choice to pay or not pay dues (which is not possible now.) The fact is that de-authorizing would NOT mean everyone is on their own. It would mean that people who want to be in the union still could be! But people would not be required to pay if they don’t want to. It seems clear to me that many people do want a union, but also that many people do not. So de-authorizing would absolutely allow people to make a choice to remain in or to become a part of the union. The key is that people would have a choice. That’s what the Open Shop idea is all about.

    • All in the Bargaining Unit share the responsibility to financially support the organization because all members of the unit gain from our organization’s work. If ALL of us gain, while only SOME of us contribute, we are not truly working together. The choice to not contribute is corrosive to our strength and unity.

  3. Paula Brien, College Advising Center

    I have no illusion as to what would have been the response to a salary hike request if I had advocated individually, on my own behalf, without the support of our union. Over the past several years, I and my colleagues in the College Advising Center have relinquished many benefits as we, along with our managers, have had to tighten our belts to help the college’s bottom line. While my office is directed by fair, thoughtful, and creative managers — who work hard to give us the resources to do our jobs — I believe they weren’t in a position to pass a raise to me or my colleagues.

    So, what I very likely could not have achieved on my own, my support and membership in USofCC has achieved for me and my colleagues.

  4. De-authorization takes absolutely NOTHING away from staff members who want to be part of the bargaining unit, it just means you can’t force people to pay you dues or fees if they don’t want to support it. Anyone who does want to support the US of CC and accept what it offers would still be free to do so.

    • To be a strong advocate for staff, our organization needs financial support. USofCC and IEA spend time, money, and other resources to ensure that a fair contract is negotiated and that staff are protected. Members’ contributions cover those costs. A petition to shirk this responsibility is a vote to render the union ineffective so that the administrators and the Board of Trustees will have complete control over the staff. 

  5. In your response to Peter’s comment you state that “All the members of the bargaining unit share the responsibility to make our organization an effective advocate for our interests.” Are you serious? How dare you force me to be a member of the bargaining unit against my will, try to extort money from me, and then tell me that it’s my responsibility to make your union strong. I don’t want to be a member, I don’t need to be a member and it is both offensive and ludicrous for you to try and push the burden of the union’s success on me.

    • We regret that acting in support of your co-workers so that all of us have a better chance to improve our working conditions offends you so greatly. What you call a “burden,” we call the right thing to do. We all do things we’d prefer not to do sometimes because a civilized society requires that individuals work together for the greater good. 

  6. Dear US of CC. I would be better off on my own. I can negotiate my own raises and my own separation – without paying dues. Why won’t you let me do that?

    • It’s a fact that employees that bargain collectively receive higher levels of compensation and greater job security. Not all our colleagues are as fortunate as Peter to feel that they can negotiate better as a single individual. All the members of the bargaining unit share the responsibility to make our organization an effective advocate for our interests.

      • Camille Morgan

        If the staff represented by the Union automatically gets the same raise offered by the College to non-union staff, then why hasn’t the US of CC admitted that they are failing in negotiations? How could the College have offered anything less that the 1%/1% dealie if union people would automatically get that anyway according to the rules?

      • The 1% raise offered by the college came from our negotiation. At first the college offered nothing. We asked for more and eventually they agreed to the 1% + 1% bonus. We continued negotiating to win greater compensation for hundreds of part-time staff, as well as the staff we represent who are new to our community. And we were successful. 

        Learn more about the latest negotiation here.

  7. Enough with singling me out, please. I was not the author of that particular newsletter. I am not singlehandedly running Staff for an Open Shop. Nowhere on the newsletter that you refer to are opinions and facts attributed to Jennie Fauls. The scarlet letter that you’re very publicly pinning on me is misdirected. Please pay closer attention to avoid misrepresenting the truth. When a newsletter is signed Staff for an Open Shop, that’s who you quote– our organization. Jennie Fauls

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