11/8 Update email

Dear Fellow Augsburg Union-Eligible Staff,

Thanks to everyone who made it out on Thursday night for our 2nd Q&A Zoom session. We’ll continue scheduling these regularly moving forward to engage with you, answer questions, and get feedback. We’ve attached the slides that were presented last night for your reference as well.

To summarize the steps we have collectively taken in this campaign so far together:

  1. We have had 1:1 conversations with each other for well over a year about the way that staff gaining a voice and seat at the table would help Augsburg fulfill its mission to serve students.
  1. In October, after confirming that a strong majority of coworkers supported forming our union, we circulated union support cards and a public letter signed by the majority that asked President Pribbenow to voluntarily recognize our union. We continue to believe that voluntary recognition is a transparent, democratic, and legal process that many other progressive employers have recently agreed to, especially as the current National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has become aggressively anti-worker under the current administration. NLRB secret ballot elections have become time-consuming, contentious, expensive, and divisive ordeals and we believe that Augsburg deserves better than this.
  1. On October 29th, a large group of staff gathered at Murphy Square and delivered our public letter to President Pribbenow’s office and gave him one week to respond.
  1. Less than 24 hours later, on October 30th, HR sent out a canned response dismissing our request for voluntary recognition and insisting that we pursue a process through the NLRB. 
  1. We then reached out to President Pribbenow to request a meeting and direct response and explanation. We also planned a peaceful vigil “Shine a Light for Workers’ Rights” to be held tomorrow, Tuesday 11/10, 5:30pm at the Augsburg House to continue raising awareness of our campaign and building solidarity with our community.
  1. President Pribbenow eventually agreed to meet with us on Thursday 11/5 where he told us he was open to a recognition process that didn’t involve the NLRB but insisted that it include a secret ballot election. We asked him to put this in writing and he agreed to respond by Wednesday, 11/11. 
  1. We now hope and expect President Pribbenow to formalize in writing with us the outlines of a process that is fair, timely, and inclusive to all who have come forward seeking a voice. There is no need for this process to be time-consuming, contentious, expensive, or divisive. As Auggies, we know we can do better!

While we are disappointed that the administration declined to voluntarily recognize us, and has yet to formalize their agreement to a fair process, we’re hopeful this is a first step in the right direction towards having our Union officially recognized. 

In the meantime, we are excited to celebrate the formation of our union with all of you as well as students, faculty, alum, and our broader community that we have received so much love and support from since publicly announcing our campaign. Please join us for our “Shine a Light” Vigil tomorrow, Tuesday, 11/10, 5:30pm at the Augsburg House where President Pribbenow lives to celebrate and peacefully call on the administration to agree to a fair process that lives up to Augsburg’s values. This will be a great chance to show President Pribbenow (who is welcome to join us) how united and determined we are to move forward with a fair and timely process. With an early sunset, we recommend folks come with phones, flashlights, headlamps, etc, to help truly shine a light for the rights of all workers. Staff, family members, students, faculty, alum, and community members are all invited to join us. We will be distributing our Augsburg Staff Union face masks and will be ensuring a socially distanced and peaceful event.

As always, please reach out with questions, concerns, or suggestions and hope to see you tomorrow night!

In Solidarity,

Augsburg Staff Union Organizing Committee

Ongoing ways to support:

  1. Attend our “Shine a Light” Vigil at the Augsburg House on Tuesday, 10/11 5:30pm 
  2. Download and use our Zoom virtual backgrounds for work meetings
  3. Keep up to date with the information and our actions on AugsburgStaffUnion.org and follow us on social media: facebook, instagram, and twitter pages 
  4. If you have questions about the union, want to talk to a supportive colleague, or want to add your support by signing a Union Card, contact us at AugsburgS…@gmail.com
  5. Share our petition requesting voluntary recognition and our public endorsement form with your networks.

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