Monday, August 13, 2007

Association 101 Glossary


as·so·ci·a·tion, un·ion, guild, broth·er·hood All the same thing. It's a group that works collectively to improve working conditions and wages.

bar·gain·ing u·nit The group made up of employees that negotiates with employers on things like salary and benefits.

build·ing rep A staff member who serves as a liaison between the staff union members and the administration. In a building with a strong union (that is, a lot of vocal and active members like you), they can typically address issues not covered by a contract to improve working conditions.

col·lect·ive bar·gain·ing The negotiation of a contract—including wages, benefits, and working conditions—between employers and employees. Some states, especially in the South, don't have collective bargaining. (Even though there is still typically a grievance or due process system legally guaranteed.)

griev·ance A dispute between a union member and management over a workplace situation or alleged contract violation that is handled through a procedure outlined in the contract or a state law or regulation. The grievance system facilitates your right to due process.

or·gan·iz·ing Drawing on the power of members' unified strength (3.2 million and counting in the NEA!), this is the action by which members lobby for changes, seek improvements in their working conditions, or work for any other important step that members determine is a priority.

"right-to-work state" States where unions can't negotiate agreements that require all employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement to pay for the costs of union representation. Such agreements eliminate "free riders" who enjoy the benefits of an agreement without supporting or joining the union.

Uni·Serv di·rec·tor That's the professional union staff member you can turn to when you have a professional problem.