UNH Campus Journal
UNH  |  Calendar  |  Storm/Emergency
Home | Archive | Subscribe/Unsubscribe Contact

Employee Questions Joint Forum As Venue For Union Discussion

April 16, 2008

Editor’s note: the forum scheduled for April 16 was postponed. No new date has been set.

Letter to the editor:

We have two important developments that are unfolding for UNH employees. The first is a proposed joint forum sponsored by the UNH councils. The second is the upcoming visit (on April 24 and April 25) by staff from campuses across the United States who are part of AFSCME staff unions.

Apparently there was to have been a joint forum for PAT, OS and Extension Educator staff. The PAT Council minutes published in the 4/9 CJ mentioned a forum so that “staff members can ask questions re: the staff unionization efforts.” It is unclear whether there will or won’t be a forum because many of us haven’t received any specific notice of such a forum from the councils.

Beyond the lack of publicity, there are questions about the format of the councils’ efforts. “Answers to the questions will be researched and responded to at a late date.” Why aren’t we having a discussion re unionization instead of a bunch of discrete questions with no immediate answers? And who’s doing the researching and the responding?

How about this as an alternative idea? Why doesn’t the PAT Council (and the other councils, too) sponsor small, district meetings so that we can talk with one another about what it means to form a union. And, for those of us who have done a lot of thinking and research about this, we’ll be able to answer a lot of the questions, right then and there, from our heads and from our hearts. UNH staff answering questions from other UNH staff; UNH staff talking to other UNH staff. No time delays.

And what about this? If the PAT Council (and the other councils) can organize these meetings on April 24 or April 25, we’ll be able to include the visiting staff from other colleges and universities who have formed AFSCME unions. We’ll be able to discuss issues and ask questions of staff who are already unionized: staff from the Ohio State University, the University of Illinois, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Massachusetts, and other US campuses. And, I know that they’ll be able to answer your questions right away, too. No time delays.

Let’s all ask our council reps to organize discussion groups. Not Q/A sessions where no one is prepared to answer the questions. And, if your PAT or OS or Extension council or rep can’t organize a discussion group, please do check in with me or any other UNH staff member who has been working on the union effort. We’ll come to your lunchrooms or conference rooms and talk about ideas, issues and concerns that are on your minds and ours. No time delays.

And on April 24 and 25, take a moment or two to talk with staff from the other campuses across the United States who will be here to share their stories and answer your questions or concerns about AFSCME. They’ve been through the unionization process and they can talk from experience. No time delays.

You know how to get in touch with your council reps. Here’s my home email, if you’d like to get in touch with me: suehuard@comcast.net.

Have a nice day.

Suzanne Huard

Office of Sponsored Research

25+ years at UNH

email this page!

We welcome your story ideas, letters, photos, notable events, achievements, obituaries and/or memorium.

If you would like to submit an item, please contact the Editor at 862-1567.

Deadline for submissions is Tuesdays at 4 pm.

Print this article Print
Email this

UNH Home | UNH News | Manage Your Subscription | follow UNH News on Twitter!
Campus Journal is produced by
UNH Media Relations
8 Garrison Ave., Durham, NH 03824
University of New Hampshire