Research Foundation Sends Letter to RAs
Recently it has come to our attention that a letter has been issued from the Research Foundation to all Research Assistants. This letter is clearly in response to our recent press conference announcing the formation of our union. Do not be intimidated!
If you’ve already read the letter, full of half-truths and myths, make sure to check out Myth vs. Reality: The Truth About Unions
The letter reads:
Dear Research Foundation Research Assistant:
We’re aware that the Communications Workers of America (CWA) is attempting to unionize research assistants at Stony Brook University. As you consider your options regarding unionization, we want you to be aware that the Research Foundation of SUNY (RF) is pro-employee rather than anti-union.
While the RF has a clear preference to continue working directly with its employees instead of using a union as intermediary, we respect the rights of those interested in learning about the union as well as those who have no interest in unionization. Our goal is to ensure that all employees have reliable and honest information as they consider the very important implications of unionization. We are committed to following all laws and regulations pertaining to employees’ right to organize or not.
The RF believes that having a unionized workforce in a sponsored programs environment like ours would not be beneficial or appropriate for employees or researchers. RF employees currently receive pay and benefits comparable or better than their unionized state counterparts without having to join a union and pay dues or agency fees. Having an outside third party intermediary such as a union is likely to create delays in hiring and jeopardize projects because sponsors may decide to work with non-unionized employers at other universities.
The RF believes that employees should have the benefit of a truly free choice, via the protections a secret ballot election affords, regarding working directly with their employer or having a union represent them.
In previous years, CWA held elections at three SUNY campuses (Albany, Buffalo and ESF) in which informed researchers and grad students voted not to unionize. In these secret ballot elections held by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the CWA did not contest those votes and they were certified by the NLRB.
As you consider the options available to you, please refer to the RF’s Web site for additional information on unionization. In addition, if you have any questions, please feel free to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and/or call toll-free at 866-999-9095 . If you wish, your contact will remain confidential.
The following staff at Stony Brook is also available to answer questions:
Ms. Nancy Daneau, Office of VP for Research, 2-9942
Ms. Vicky McLaughlin, Human Resource Services, 2-6147
Thank you. I am also available to speak with you if you have questions or concerns, and can be reached at 2-6148.
Assistant Director, Human Resource Services
Now that you’ve read the letter make sure to check out Myth vs. Reality: The Truth About Unions