Your Vote is Your Voice
If SEIU wins the election, they WILL represent you, even if you choose not to join the union. Right-to-work statutes merely gives you the option to opt out of paying dues. If you opt out, you are unable to vote for the union representatives who will negotiate your compensation AND your work rules, including course assignments. Research shows that faculty satisfaction with workload DECLINES after unionization (http://faculty.wwu.edu/kriegj/Econ.%20Documents/Satisfaction%20IR.pdf). Thus, your vote truly is your voice.
Know Your Rights
NLRB rules require Vanderbilt to violate your privacy by giving union organizers your home address and home and cell phone numbers. This leaves us all vulnerable to intimidation. If union organizers show up at your home (or office), you have the right to call the police if they refuse to leave. If you signed a union card and want it back, the union must return it to you. Many of our colleagues were misled and told that signing the card merely indicated a “desire to know more,” rather than the truth that a signature meant they supported the union.
Your Vote Counts
Whether you taught for one week this semester or have taught for multiple decades, your vote counts! SEIU’s right to represent you is determined by a simple majority of the votes received by June 6th and research suggests “abstentions play an important role in election outcomes” (Ahlburg, 1984). Don’t let “no vote” be your vote.
REQUEST A BALLOT
If you were not in the voting pool but want your voice heard, request a ballot. Many colleagues were disqualified from the voting pool because of their S17 workload/responsibilities, but may easily fall within the union’s jurisdiction in a future semester.
Will your ballot have an impact? MAYBE. The NLRB will automatically challenge ballots submitted by voters not on the university's voter list. At the June 6 counting of the votes, the university and the union may also challenge ballots if they believe that voters are not eligible. All challenged votes (from both sides) will be combined into one "bucket" of challenged votes for each election.
If the challenged votes are sufficient to sway the outcome of the election, then the NLRB Regional Director (RD) must decide how to handle the challenged votes – after giving each side one week to defend their position on how to treat the challenged votes. The RD has multiple options, but one is to decide that a hearing is necessary to review each challenge, voter by voter. This is exactly what has happened at Northwestern: the vote took place in June 2016, but they still do not have an election decision. In other words, those challenged votes are important and have had a meaningful impact on the election process.
I am writing to request a ballot. Based on the information you requested by email from a colleague, I am providing the following information to document my request for a ballot:
- Mailing address
- Work location
- Home and mobile telephone numbers
- A statement of teaching classes during Spring 2017 (SUGGESTION: describe your personal circumstances regarding teaching responsibilities. EG You will teach next semester, your responsibilities involve oversight of Masters or Doctoral students, which is part of the teaching process, etc.)
- Whether your name might be on more than one school list
Alternatively, you can call the Region 10 Office at (404)331-2896 or the NLRB national office at (866)667-6572.