Feed on

So, all of the previous correspondence happened by March 22nd. I replied to Mr. Holt’s note via e-mail that day. And now here we are on April 9th, almost three weeks after I asked him additional questions, and I have not heard back from Mr. Holt. Here, below, is how I responded to his e-mail of the 22nd:

Michael Rizzo <rizzo.liberty@gmail.com>

Mar 22

to Joseph
On Tue, Mar 22, 2016 at 9:56 AM, Joseph Holt <———> wrote:

Did U of R faculty members reach out to you in an effort to help them? U of R faculty did reach out to us. In fact there is an entire Organizing Committee that has sent letters, and emailed most of you at the University as recent as yesterday.
​–> I meant BEFORE you approached me. There was no inkling of the idea here. Did SEIU target us, or did our faculty reach out to you for help?
Do you explain the above to all of the people that you meet and present cards to? We are very thorough in our conversations but as you know sometimes the professor cuts the conversation short.
​–> Yes, because we are surprise visited. It is not very professional.​
Do you explain to people that they will be forced to be covered by the union should the election work out that way? And do you explain to people that you only want folks to fill out cards if they are going to vote yes? No one is forced to do anything.
All decisions are made up during the bargaining process where faculty get to decide what is appropriate in their bargaining unit. We ask the same questions to everyone before they sign card “do you support coming together with your colleagues to form a union.”  I asked you that very question outside of the building.  The reason I reached out to begin with was during a follow up, to see if you had any questions, you told my organizers you didn’t remember signing anything, so it concerned me and that’s why I sent you the copy and am answering your questions now.
​–> You did not say (though I knew) … you are signing this card because X% of staff need to sign it in order for there to be a vote, and Y% of them need to say yes … you just asked that vacuous question …
Do you explain to people how their current arrangements may change should an election take place and the votes come in?
I don’t understand how your current situation would change.  You bargain from where you are at.  And because you and your colleagues are voting on the contract I don’t believe you would vote for anything less than improvements.
​–> If people bargain from where they are at, then what is the advantage in having a collective step in for me …
Do you explain to people if they are in any way able to opt out of the union if the vote goes through? All those decisions are made during the bargaining process on whether or not you want the shop to be open or closed.
​That was not what I asked … I asked if that was made clear to people when you approached them​
Do you explain to people what their likely union dues would be (how much) and how they would be used? Yes, dues are 30 dollars a month, and you don’t pay them until you have bargained and ratified a contract. You also don’t pay them if you are not teaching. There are no initiation fees as well.
​Again, you did not explain this at the time you asked for me to sign a card. Nor do you tell me what those dues are for.​
Is it legal for you to ask me how I am going to vote? We don’t ask how you are going to vote, we will ask if you are supportive of forming a Union with your colleagues.  How you vote is up to you. 
​–> You can play games with the language, and that may be in accordance with the letter of the law, but you clearly are asking people. You never made that process clear and in fact my last email from you has you asking if you should tear up my card. Now why would you tear up my card if we were meant to have an open and honest election about what the faculty really want?​
Now a few questions of my own.
1) Do you still support coming together with your colleagues to form a union?
2) Would you like to be more involved in your campaign.
​–> I want the chance to vote in any election that may take place. ​And I would like as much information as possible as this campaign continues as this obviously impacts my career, and it was not something I asked for or expected when I took a job here.

Leave a Reply