by Peter Kaczmarczyk
Now more than ever you need to join your union.
First, I’ll get out of the way two arguments we often hear against joining: We can’t strike and we can’t negotiate wage amounts. This is true on both counts, but it is a small part of the equation. We do so much more.
If you didn’t have a union, you would have far fewer rights. You could be terminated quickly and easily, without due process or a fair hearing of the facts. You could be moved to another job, put back on probation, and then fired for not performing at your new job. You would have no one to speak for you and defend you in a time of need. You would truly be on your own.
Your union also provides a clear unified voice. We have the ear of the community, the state and local government and the campus, and can often rally them to our defense. We have the ability to organize rallies and protests, such as the one in January, 2007 that played a big role in stopping IU’s drive to outsource all our jobs. This is a fact: state legislators and members of the IU administration have stated this to me in clear, unambiguous language. We stood together, brought in the press, and shamed IU in the court of public opinion, and the result was that IU stopped directly outsourcing our jobs. We got their attention, got them on the defensive, and forced the trustees to reply in the press. As a result, in the face of public outcry, they had to slam on the brakes and stop their outsourcing scheme with just the outsourcing of the bookstores and the motor pool.
So why now more than ever? Because IU is at it again. The current budget, by slashing funding for staff positions, calls for us all to start being outsourced indirectly and replaced by hourly workers. It is a piecemeal approach, cloaked in budgetary excuses but clearly aimed at reducing our ranks, cutting our jobs and benefits, and replacing us with cheap, pliable, workers with few if any rights, benefits and protections.
This is not a joke. They are coming for your job! We all must stand up, and if we all do it together as part of your union with a strong, consistent and clear voice, we can stop it.
Dues are small; we ask little in return, but your membership is imperative. We must show IU we are serious, we must show IU we stand together. They have tried to undermine us, using divide and conquer techniques; we cannot allow this to occur! We must stand up, and you must stand with us.
So please, join now! It has never been more important; the risks if you don’t so great. IU Trustees are out to break the staff and pay for their buildings and projects on your backs, and unless you all stand up and say NO, they will succeed.