Inside Higher Ed
December 15th, 2014
Union advocates applauded two decisions by the National Labor
Relations Board last week, one of which protects the right of employees
using work email for union communications. The other decision revises
rules for union elections and could shorten the union election process.
In the first case, that of Purple Communications and Communications Workers of America,
the board ruled that employees communicating with each other on work
computers – but not on work time – are free to discuss union activity.
The decision did not address communication with non-employees, however.
Aaron Nisenson, chief counsel for the American Association of
University Professors, said via email that the decision as it pertains
to higher education has particular relevance to faculty members, who
frequently communicate via email. “The ability to use email to
communicate is essential to faculty, particularly contingent faculty,
who are often dispersed and may not be able to speak directly to each
other regularly,” he added.