Who is funding UW's anti-union campagin?

October 23, 2015

Who Is Running UW's Anti-Union Campaign

Dear Colleagues,

As predicted, the UW administration is increasing the volume of their anti-union campaign, most recently with its new website. This is not, as the email we received yesterday suggests, some sort of neutral “information-sharing platform.” This is an anti-union website drafted by paid consultants.

Based on a public records request we now know that the UW administration has hired and paid an anti-union consultant a few thousand dollars so far.

Highlights:

  • The anti-union consultant, Summit Law Group, began working in May, 2015.
  • One attorney is paid $273/hour and another is paid $230/hour.
  • In August, 2015 the University sent four administrators (Mindy Kornberg, VP for HR; Cheryl Cameron, Vice Provost for Academic Personnel; Shelley Kostrinsky, Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Personnel; and, Larry Paulsen, Assistant Attorney General) to Eugene, Oregon, presumably to consult with the University of Oregon about their experience with faculty organizing there. (U of O faculty won their union election in 2012 and ratified their first faculty union contract in 2013.)

Much of the website’s content mimics anti-union websites from other university administrations such as those at Duke University and Seattle University.

With this “information-sharing platform,” the administration is wielding its inherent power over faculty members, many with varying degrees of job security or precariousness, creating an environment where anti-union speech feels safer than pro-union speech.

Rather than wasting scarce education dollars on cookie-cutter anti-union rhetoric, we urge the administration to welcome a united and engaged faculty, and make common cause against chronic underfunding and the rising corporatization of higher education.


In Solidarity,

Amy Hagopian, Associate Professor, Health Services and Global Health

Sudhir Mahadevan, Associate Professor, Comparative Literature, Cinema and Media

Carrie Matthews, Full-Time Lecturer, English


P.S. If you haven’t done so yet, please join us in signing a UW Faculty Forward membership card.


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