PROJECT: Union Letter
DATE: April 2013
Dear M and P,
I am writing to address issues concerning the grievance I filed last year. During the General Assembly of 2013, a member spoke whose course was, like mine, taken by a faculty member with more seniority. In a recent conversation, M noted that my case was like this teacher’s and therefore adjudicated correctly. This letter is, in part, a response to that comment; I will clarify in this letter how my situation is different from this union member’s, since KB was clearly unqualified to teach the course in question. I hope to clarify points in my case that were misconstrued and that ultimately led to your dismissal of my grievance. I would like this letter to be included in my file.
In looking back, it is clear to me that the union’s decision in my grievance was based on only one of the two principles involved in assigning courses: level of seniority. Closer attention to my grievance would have exposed the fact that KB was unqualified and that the committee lacked the knowledge upon which to base their decision. Adequate review of my case would have surely led to a different outcome.
I am not asking you to reevaluate the decision, only to read the following reflections I’ve had on the situation in hopes of preventing future adjudications that do not serve the best interests of the union members or the departments concerned.
In reviewing the events, I realize I made six mistakes in handling the situation. However, most of the mistakes involved a lack of information or advice I was given that later turned out to work against a rational outcome.