Questions About Signing a Union Authorization Card


Wednesday, January 25, 2017
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UNH Chief Human Resources Officer Kathy Neils
Kathy Neils

Following President Huddleston’s letter dated Jan. 17, 2017, and meetings many of you have had with your leaders, some employees have asked if the president is asking them to sign an authorization card. To be clear — he is not.

The president stands by his original conviction that a union for OS and PAT employees is counter to our common interests. If you don’t want a union to represent you don’t sign an authorization card.

You may hear many reasons to sign a union authorization card, such as:

  • "It's just to ensure an election" — FALSE 
  • "You have to sign if you want to be able to vote" — FALSE 
  • "Only those who sign can vote" — FALSE 
  • "It’s a way to show support for the president’s proposed larger two groups" — FALSE

None of these statements is true. A union authorization card is a serious, legal document. Signing it is an individual decision and should not be done before considering all the implications.

The union authorization card clearly states, “I, the undersigned employee of UNH/USNH do hereby express my desire to be exclusively represented by NEA-New Hampshire, its agents, representatives or chartered local associations for the purpose of collective bargaining, negotiations, settlement of grievances, and other purposes prescribed by the New Hampshire Public Labor Relations Act (RSA 273-A).”

Signing it is a statement that you wish to be represented by a union.  

If you have questions please do not hesitate to ask your HR Partner or reach out to me directly.  I urge you to take the time to read previous university communications on staff unionization , including Understanding a Union Card, and learn why Your Voice Matters.

Kathy Neils
Chief Human Resources Officer

Read more in Your Voice Matters, a series of communications from university leadership to provide clarity about efforts to unionize UNH staff, where you can also submit questions and feedback.