FAQ for Augsburg Staff

Facts about forming our Augsburg Staff Union with OPEIU Local 12

We Only Pay Dues After We See the Results

  • No one pays any dues until after we negotiate, vote on, and approve our own union contract.
  • We wouldn’t approve a contract that didn’t make improvements and more than pay for our dues.
  • OPEIU Local 12 dues are 2 times our hourly wage plus $9.50 per month. For example, if you make $20.00 hr., your dues would be $49.50 a month.  
  • Maximum monthly dues are $53
  • There is no initiation fee for current employees

A Union is OUR Employee Organization

  • A union is a non-profit employee organization which runs completely by and for its members.
  • It’s an organization we build and use to speak up as a unified voice for improvements that benefit us all.
  • Without a union, management has total say over our pay, our benefits, our hours, our shifts, and our working conditions.
  • With a union, we will have more power to make positive changes in our jobs and protect and advance our interests.

We Protect What We Currently Have and Make Improvements from There

  • Once we vote to become union, our current benefits and employment conditions get protected in place until we negotiate and approve any changes and improvements.
  • What issues get brought to the bargaining table will be up to us, the staff at Augsburg.
  • Augsburg management must provide necessary information for us to be able to negotiate over the terms of our employment. This is our opportunity to negotiate with the employer, and if we stick together, we can win. There is no guarantee we will win on everything, but we are guaranteed a place at the table.

It’s Our Legal Right to Support Having a Union

  • It would be illegal for our employer to question us about our union activity or to fire, demote, discipline or any way interfere with our right to form a union.
  • The National Labor Relations Act is the federal law that protects employees with these rights. 

We’ll Come Out Ahead with a Union

  • Currently, our working conditions, pay, benefits, hours, policies all get decided by management. It’s very one sided. Creating a union changes this lopsided relationship.
  • A union gives us a more level playing field where we can negotiate over improvements and get those improvements guaranteed in a legally binding contract. We’ll decide through surveys and meetings which issues are most important to address in bargaining.

We Can Talk about the Union at Work

  • If we’re allowed to talk about other non-work topics, like what we watched on TV last night, then we can talk about the union. 
  • Most often, it’s best to keep our union activity such as handing out flyers or petitions to “off the clock” time like breaks, mealtime and before and after work.

Strikes are Rare and It’s Your Decision

  • Strikes are rare and only used as a last resort.
  • There are many other effective ways to put pressure on our employer to win a fair contract.
  • No strike could ever happen unless an overwhelming majority of employees in our bargaining unit at Augsburg voted to do so.
  • OPEIU union staff or officers or members of other unions can’t “call for a strike”.

We Can Be Loyal Employees and Still Support Having a Union

  • We want to make sure Augsburg is the best possible place to work for ourselves, our students, and our community and having a union will help.
  • Supporting a union can have a positive impact on morale, turnover and the support we provide to students. Supporting a union doesn’t mean we’re against our employer.