This is the promised follow-up to my email of a couple days ago, using our TidyHQ listserv. Again, if you are receiving this email, you are a member of the bargaining unit represented by the Plymouth State University Chapter of the AAUP, and you are eligible for membership in the union.
As mentioned in the previous email, we are scheduling two Chapter Meetings to be held before the end of the semester to help update everybody on the process and status of negotiating our first contract. We will hold two meetings to hopefully enable everybody to attend one, if they have conflicts. You should not need to attend both!
Chapter meeting information:
First meeting: Thursday, Dec 8, 1 – 2pm (Tentative location: Heritage Commons)
Second meeting: Tuesday, Dec 13, 1:30 – 2:30 pm (Tentative location: Frost Commons)
Just to clarify: ALL Members of the Bargaining Unit are encouraged to attend one of the meetings, whether union members or not. We will have representatives and computers available to help you sign up for union membership at the time, if you want to.
Clarification of Membership
I had several questions in response to my previous email, so I would like to try to clarify a few things about membership. Please remember, we are all new to this and still learning!
First, a couple definitions:
Bargaining Unit: The “bargaining unit” includes any and all tenure-track faculty at Plymouth State University, who do not have a primarily administrative role. You do not have to do anything to be a member of the bargaining unit—if you are receiving this email, you are a member of the bargaining unit. Bargaining unit members are represented by the local chapter of the AAUP and will be covered by anything in our contract.
Union Member: A union member is any member of the Bargaining Unit who has signed up for membership and paid dues. Only union members can hold office, vote in union elections, and participate in the negotiation of the contract, including voting on its acceptance. We currently have 70 members of the AAUP local chapter.
Second, a clarification on joining the union: Currently, because we do not have a contract and have not set the dues, we are not handling membership locally. Instead, the national AAUP office is handling membership and dues collection, so you need to go to the AAUP website to sign up:
When you sign up, you will select the option “Non-Collective Bargaining Member.” This is a bit misleading, because you will be joining our local collective bargaining unit in the process!
After we negotiate our contract and set dues, this process will change, and you will join through the local chapter.
I hope that helps answer many of your questions. As always, feel free to contact me or any other member of the Executive Committee if you have questions.
— Jeremiah Duncan
President, Plymouth State University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors