A union is simply a group of workers who have joined together to represent their concerns. Together we can fight for higher wages and salaries, better benefits, personal treatment, and security for everyone who works on this campus. Combining our forces allows us to advocate for each other.
Isn't it illegal to join a union in Georgia?
No. Georgia opted under the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act to exclude its public workers from coverage by the National Labor Relations Act, and Georgia will not allow state employees to collectively bargain. But all Americans have the right to join a union and to speak out on matters that affect our community. Those rights are protected by the First Amendment.
Isn't Georgia a right to work state?
Yes, it is. But that means that you can't be required to join a union to hold your job. No one is requiring you to join this union.
Can a union be effective in a right to work state?
Public workers are not allowed to strike (GA Code Sec. 45-19-2), but the are allowed to assemble and form a union. Georgia's Constitution, Paragraph IX (9), states that employees have the "Right to assemble and petition. The people have the right to assemble peaceably for their common good and to apply by petition or remonstrance to those vested with the powers of government for redress of grievances."
Can I be fired for participating even if I have a right to? Our union will defend members who suffer any kind of retaliation for participating, but some university employees have far less job security than others. Because of that, we protect members' identity; membership information is private and kept safe. Dues are collected directly by UCWGA, not UGA. We also encourage members to participate how they see fit. The best level of involvement is the one that you feel comfortable with. If you decide to be involved in an active and public capacity, here are some tips to help you do it wisely and effectively.
Be involved on your own time. Don't use work time and resources for activities that may be perceived as interfering with your duties.
When possible, keep your participation in UCWGA compartmentalized from your daily work: use an email address other than your work email, and dedicate a specific time outside of your regular working hours.
While it is certainly not a secret, at work be mindful of the moments when and the people with whom you decide to share your participation in UCWGA.
When in doubt, please talk to your union representative to get more information.
What are the dues? Union dues are on an income-based sliding scale.
Minimum dues for full-time employees are $14.50/month
Part-time employees, graduate students, and retirees are $7.25/month
$60,000-$99,999 annual gross: $30/month
More than $100,000 gross: $50/month
Dues are paid monthly on the first business day of the month for salary employees or the first biweekly payday of the month for biweekly paid employees via bank-draft from the account of your choosing using Amalgamated Bank as ACH processor.