I strongly urge you to exercise your right to VOTE in the current union election. I also encourage you to VOTE NO.
I have been excluded from the voting unit because I did not teach in Sprint 2017. However, I and my colleagues who also have been excluded (roughly two-thirds of NTT Peabody faculty!) contribute to the University’s mission of "scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large."
SEIU fails to understand the synergy across the pillars of research, teaching, and service. SEIU has a simplistic view of the University’s mission, as teaching only. SEIU simply does not understand higher education.
For unionization to be effective, optimal conditions and integrity of approach are essential. Unfortunately, several researchers have noted that unions tend to operate in "decidedly undemocratic ways" and their representation tends to ". . . marginalize racial minorities, women, and the young" (Williams & Halcoussis, 2014, pp. 213, 225).
SEIU’s push for unionization at Vanderbilt has been anything but democratic and empowering. They have used aggressive, scare tactics and selectively excluded many voices. Absent optimal conditions, how can we expect benefits as a result of SEIU representation?
I encourage you all to vote so that your voice is heard. If you have been excluded from the voting unit, please contact the National Labor Relations Board and request a ballot.
Carol T. Nixon, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Human and Organizational Development
Peabody College of Vanderbilt University