Today I'd like to discuss Direct Action vs. Legal Shenanigans.
There's a time and a place for "legal" recourse such as filing grievances, or filing a prohibited practice complaint. The general opinion of most members is that these are things the administration and/or school board pay attention to, and they feel this is why we pay union dues - our union reps can take care of [
insert problem here] and we'll wait to see what happens.
Legal Shenanigans: This week I sat all day in a mediation meeting that was supposed to be a prohibited practice complaint hearing. We got really close to settling the disagreement, but in the end, we're going back to have the hearing anyway. We feel good about the case and we hope that the union will prevail. By winning this case, we think more members in this Local will feel less fearful about engaging in Direct Action - - something the administration is trying to squelch.
Direct Action: In another Local, members are beating back a "bully" principal by having groups of members meet directly with the administrator to make demands about changing behaviors, offering suggestions about how to make things better, and holding the principal accountable for making the changes.
There's no question that Direct Action takes time - but I assure you, not as long as legal actions (it will be months after the hearing before we get a decision from our prohibited practice complaint). And Direct Action helps settle disputes at the lowest level - between the parties it affects. Do you have questions about this? Want to know how you and your Local can engage in Direct Actions? Give us a call!
Region 3 Regional Director