Now that we have a union and elected union officers, what’s next?
First and foremost, the most important function of a union is to negotiate and enforce a collective bargaining agreement (also called a “Contract”). On September 28th, your Union’s Executive Board (Valentin, Katarzyna, and Ted) sent an official notice to the Company asking them to negotiate our working conditions. A copy of this notice, also called a “Section 6 Notice” can be found here:
If someone were to get disciplined for something, are they “protected” by the Union?
Because we don’t currently have a collective bargaining agreement, there is no “process” by which someone could “file a grievance.”
Negotiating a CBA may take a while. Do we have the ability to negotiate anything before a CBA is negotiated?
Yes. We have the ability to negotiate agreements or processes with the Company before a collective bargaining agreement is negotiated. One such process is called the “System Board of Adjustment”—a set of rules and guidelines whereby an employee can grieve any aspect of their current working conditions in order to have it “adjusted” in their favor. When we meet with the Company, we will ask them to negotiate a System Board of Adjustment and have it implemented within a couple of months.
How will the Union know what to ask for when negotiating a CBA with the Company? Will there be any sort of survey published?
Yes, the Union will soon be publishing a negotiations survey for everyone to fill out. In order for you to fill it out, you must provide the Union with your private email address. You may have already done this by visiting this website, but if you’re not sure, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org from your personal email address. Of course, feel free to send us your comments and suggestions on which issues you think should improved so we may incorporate your suggestions into our survey.
Is there anything I can do in the meantime to help out?
Yes. Direct all of your colleagues to the union website to read the latest information and to input their personal email address. Also, if you or anyone you know has experience with publications, graphic design, or a legal background, we would appreciate your help.