Union Calls Police on Union

Each year the Virginia Education Association holds a three-day “organizing school” for active union members in which they learn about political action, media relations and how to mobilize their colleagues. This year’s school was held at the University of Richmond with the theme “Educate, Agitate, Organize!”

But it was different story when VEA was on the receiving end of those three actions. The union’s employees decided to stake out the entrance to the workshop at the University of Richmond to hand out to the participants water bottles, granola bars, and a leaflet that detailed a number of difficulties the staffers were having with union managers.

Among these were a “lack of transparency and communication,” canceled staff development training and “arbitrary decisions related to expenses.” VEA employees have recently been at odds with management, even though they were able to successfully negotiate a new contract.

Evidently at least one VEA manager was less than thrilled with the staff presence and message, so he or she called the campus police to have them removed from the premises.

The encounter ended peacefully and now the staff union is using the incident to bolster support with the members, but it goes to show that union managers aren’t any more enlightened about dealing with labor problems than are managers anywhere else.

Virginia isn’t the only place when union employees and managers are at each other’s throats. Employees of the South Carolina Education Association accused union managers of bad faith bargaining as they seek a new contract, and employees of the Fresno Teachers Association filed four separate unfair labor practice complaints against union managers alleging 17 violations of their collective bargaining agreement.

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