Sunday, June 4, 2023

Sno-Isle Libraries Employees United to Join AFSCME Council 2

"Library workers, Terry Lippincott said, are “energized. They’re motivated. You don’t want to mess with a librarian.”"

Sno-Isle Libraries Employees United intend to join AFSCME Council 2.

In interviews, workers cited inconsistent policies, safety issues and lack of a say in decision-making as reasons for unionizing.

“There’s no mechanism here for us to review anybody higher up than us,” said Abby Reveles, a librarian at the Arlington branch. “So we get really entrenched managers who are not supporting the people that are working for them the way that they’re supposed to.”

"Libraries are also on the front line of public health crises like homelessness and drug use," said Michael Rainey, AFSCME Council 2 president.

“The fact that library employees are having to be trained in treating people with Narcan,” Rainey said, “that is a cultural thing that we’re facing that most people don’t see.”

A SILEU press release said the union had “supermajority support … exceeding well beyond the 50% required to file for card check union recognition” in Washington. 

Read the full article here.



Saturday, June 3, 2023

Unions Can Still Strike—Don't Let the Supreme Court Tell You Otherwise

 The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Glacier Northwest v. Teamsters Local 174 is outrageous—valuing property over workers’ rights. But it could have been much worse.

Unions still have the right to strike. Employers still can’t generally sue unions in state court for losses caused by strikes. But the decision does open the door to whittling away those rights more in the future.

The practical impact of the Court’s decision is that employers will be suing unions more often for alleged property damage caused by strikes—and that therefore unions (and their attorneys) are likely to be more cautious.

But the Court did not do what many had feared it would do in this case: overrule longstanding precedent that employers generally cannot sue unions in state court over activities—like strikes—covered by the National Labor Relations Act.

Instead, it found that this case fell under an already-existing exception for intentional damage to employer property or failure to take reasonable precautions to prevent such damage.

Workers and unions are right to be furious at this ruling. But we should be careful not to sensationalize or overstate it—which could do more damage to the right to strike than the ruling itself does, by making workers scared to exercise it.

“American workers must remember that their right to strike has not been taken away,” said Teamsters President Sean O’Brien in response to the ruling. “All workers, union and nonunion alike, will forever have the right to withhold their labor.”

LABOR NOTES article continues:  

Unions Can Still Strike—Don't Let the Supreme Court Tell You Otherwise | Labor Notes

Friday, June 2, 2023

Dartmouth Library Staff Affiliate with AFSCME Local 93

On April 18, the Dartmouth College Library Workers’ Union made a public announcement that we were affiliating with AFSCME Local 93 and filing for an election with the National Labor Relations Board. We are now in the midst of that vote. On May 19, the NLRB sent out ballots, which must be returned by June 12. 

Library staff are now organizing to form a union not because we want public accolades, but because we see firsthand how Dartmouth budget policy is eroding our institution, and we want to help it — and ourselves — to make the library everything it can and should be.


--Timothy Wolfe,Acquisitions Supervisor at the Dartmouth Library. 

Even as Dartmouth’s endowment has grown, the library’s slice of the pie has waned. In the last five years, we’ve actually sustained $2 million in budget cuts. In that time, we have lost the equivalent of 30 full-time staff positions, and salaries for those of us who are left have not remotely kept up with the cost of living. A promotion structure for librarians was abruptly terminated in 2020, leaving all library staff without a path for professional advancement other than to take a job elsewhere. Two of our locations — Kresge Physical Sciences Library and Paddock Music Library were abruptly shuttered in 2021 without warning or community input. 

The library is not treated as a priority, and this has taken its toll. A workplace once known for its people staying for full 40-year careers has suddenly become a place of rapid and constant turnover, as new recruits discover our working conditions and poor morale and soon make for the exits.  

See article Wolfe: Dartmouth Library Staff Need a Union

Library staff members work hard for this community, but College administration has taken them for granted far too long.


Thursday, June 1, 2023

Supreme Court Rules OK for company to sue Strikers

 The National Labor Relations Act did not preempt Glacier’s state tort claims related to the destruction of company property during a labor dispute where the union failed to take reasonable precautions to avoid foreseeable and imminent danger to the property.

 Glacier Northwest, Inc. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters - SCOTUSblog

To recap briefly, this case concered whether the Washington Supreme Court properly dismissed a tort action by Glacier Northwest, a concrete mixing company, arising out of a strike by the Teamsters. The company alleged that the Teamsters purposely timed their strike to inflict harm on the company and should be liable for any costs associated with the hardening of cement that was loaded into the mixers before the strike commenced. The state court, in dismissing the lawsuit, held that the NLRB should go first in assessing whether the National Labor Relations Act protected the strike conduct.

Sharon Block, Court grapples with how to handle company’s lawsuit against union that went on strikeSCOTUSblog (Jan. 11, 2023, 12:08 PM),

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

What To Do When Your Union Breaks Your Heart (June 2023)


If you’re a union member, unfortunately the chances are good that you’ve had, or will have, your heart broken at least once by one of your own leaders. Whether you tried to get involved and there was nowhere to go, or the members got sold out, or leaders want to keep the union as their exclusive club, it can feel pretty harsh. In this workshop, we’ll talk about how to recommit to your union and change the culture into one where leaders respect and serve the members.

This workshop is based on this article and will be led by Ellen David Friedman.

This workshop will be offered on a monthly basis; if you cannot make it to this session stay tuned for next month's event.

Registration is FREE. Information is here:

Workshop: What To Do When Your Union Breaks Your Heart (June 2023) | Labor Notes

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Alaska Supreme Court rejects Dunleavy administration’s plan to change union-dues rules


Alaska Supreme Court rejects Dunleavy administration’s plan to change union-dues rules

JUNEAU — The Alaska Supreme Court rejected the Dunleavy administration’s plans to overhaul public sector union membership rules in a unanimous decision issued Friday.

The court’s 24-page opinion said the administration’s interpretation of a landmark 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision that limited collection of union dues was incorrect, and that the state’s current procedures do not violate members’ First Amendment rights.

“We are thrilled. We are unsurprised,” said Heidi Drygas, executive director of the Alaska State Employees Association, in an interview about Friday’s decision. “We felt really strongly about our case, and the Supreme Court basically confirmed that — with quite a walloping.”

Monday, May 22, 2023

National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions: May News


This  month's newsletter includes links to video recordings of nine sessions from our 50th anniversary conference including the keynote address by political philosopher Michael Sandel.

The newsletter also contains notices about our next regional event, a collective bargaining program in Chicago in September, and a new survey being conducted by the Pullias Center for Higher Education on academic careers and environments

We also report on four faculty representation cases from Ohio, Maryland, and Illinois seven representation cases involving graduate and undergraduate employees, an unfair labor practice complaint that could have major implications for college athletes and collegiate sports, and two new bargaining units of interns and residents.

Lastly, the newsletter includes links to articles in the current volume of the Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy and an announcement about an upcoming book on the history of contingent faculty.

Link to Newsletter:

National Center E-Note — Hunter College (