It has come to our attention that a DePaul adjunct faculty member may have been misled by a union organizer about the nature of a document the faculty member signed. Led to believe the “green card” was a request to receive more information about the union, the adjunct instructor signed the card and only later realized that in fact it was a union authorization card.
A union authorization card is a legal document, and by signing either a paper or electronic card, you are stating your desire for the union to be your exclusive representative for purposes of collective bargaining. In exchange, you would pay union dues amounting to hundreds of dollars per year. If the union collects the signature of just 30 percent of the members of a desired faculty bargaining unit, it can ask the National Labor Relations Board to set in motion a government-administered secret ballot union election.
If a union organizer was not forthcoming when asking you to sign a paper or electronic authorization card, or if you knowingly signed a card but have since changed your mind about being represented by the union, you can ask for your card back. It is against federal law for anyone to retaliate against you for doing so. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Write a letter stating that you withdraw your authorization for representation by the Service Employees International Union. Include your name, department and college at DePaul, sign, and date.
2. Mail your letter to: SEIU Local 73, 300 S. Ashland Avenue, 4th Floor Chicago, IL 60607-2701
3. Send a copy of your letter to the regional National Labor Relations Board office located at The Rookery Building, 209 South LaSalle Street, Suite 900 Chicago, IL 60604-5208
Before signing anything presented to you by a union organizer, carefully read the fine print and ask questions. What you might believe to be your request for more information or to not be contacted by the union could in fact be your authorization for union representation. We have posted information about your rights, the SEIU, the types of questions to consider asking a union organizer and additional information about card signing in the “Get the Facts” and “FAQs” sections of go.depaul.edu/AdjunctInfoHub.
We clearly recognize and support an employee’s right to choose to sign or not to sign and pledge that there will be no retaliation regardless of the choice you make.
On the other hand, if you feel you are being coerced or pressured by union organizers, feel free to inform John Culbert, Senior Advisor for Contingent Faculty in Academic Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marten denBoer, PhD