Is a Teacher's Union Right for You?

A message from Kathy Neils

Monday, May 8, 2017
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Kathy Neils, UNH Chief Human Resources Officer
Kathy Neils

Dear Colleagues,

The National Education Association (NEA) is a teacher's union. Its mission does not include representation of healthcare and counseling professionals. Is the NEA the right fit for you?

From the NEA’s union website:

  • “our mission [is] to advocate for the children of New Hampshire and public school employees ”
  • “our members are public school educators … classroom teachers and other certified professional, instructors at public higher education institutions, students preparing for a teaching career, education support employees and those retired from the profession”

If the NEA becomes your representative, perhaps the first education to occur would be you explaining to the NEA union rep what your job entails.

Remember, the NEA’s goal is to represent all OS and PAT employees. They confirmed this in their email to you dated April 25:

“The original organizing effort included all OS and PAT at UNH. That's close to 2,000 people. The goal remains to organize all OS and PAT, but the strategy has shifted. HS and CC employees signed election authorization cards at a very high rate. It was decided to secure a union for the HS and CC groups first, then move to other groups at UNH on our way to representation for all OS and PAT.”

We believe their only interest in you is as a stepping stone. Given how long a first contract may take to negotiate, are you willing to wait in “status quo?” Will they be focused on negotiating a contract for you or on convincing others on campus of their value? Are you confident that they will have your best interest in mind?


Kathy Neils

Chief Human Resources Officer

This article is part of the series:

Thompson Hall at UNH
Clarity about efforts to organize UNH staff