WHY WE ORGANIZE
As we set about organizing our colleagues, it’s easy to get caught up in the details of emergent issues, whether it’s the University’s faulty response to the coronavirus pandemic or the push for a coherent family leave policy, and forget why most of us choose to organize in the first place. The points below are meant to help you easily communicate what a union means to you and what we can do for our colleagues across the University by coming together. Next time our union comes up in a conversation and you want to chime in, here are some ideas you can put forward.
We all do better when we negotiate together.
- Negotiating on your own for compensation and working conditions is not nearly as effective as joining together with colleagues to bargain collectively. Increased transparency and collectively bargained minimum standards can improve conditions for everyone.
- The power imbalance between any individual faculty member trying to make changes in their workplace--whether full-time or part-time, tenured or adjunct--and the Pitt administration is glaring.
- We can correct that unequal footing through collective action, amplifying our individual voices to improve our lives at Pitt and make it a better place for our students to learn. When we come together, we have much more power to make enduring changes.
A union means your voice is heard.
- A union means our employer is legally obligated to listen to the faculty, whether we are bargaining with the administration over working conditions, ratifying our contract, or making sure its terms are followed.
- A union can enhance shared governance, working hand-in-hand with existing structures to give institutions like the faculty senate more agency to set the agenda for our university.
- As a union, faculty members who are unrepresented in the faculty senate (part-time faculty) would have a meaningful voice in decisions that affect them.
A union can bring us together.
- Our union will provide opportunities for faculty to interact with colleagues we would otherwise never meet, overcoming boundaries of discipline, tenure status, and campus.
- Union meetings and other functions can help expand and enrich our personal and professional networks, fostering solidarity and community.
- In coming together with colleagues across the university, we can develop our shared interests in making Pitt a better place for us to work and our students to learn.