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Union Victory

The NLRB has completed the ballot count!  

The SPLC Union Organizing Committee is pleased to announce that a majority of staff voted IN FAVOR of representation by the Washington-Baltimore News Guild.

As of today, staff who are eligible to be in the bargaining unit are no longer at-will employees. You are now just-cause employees. 

From the beginning of this Union organizing drive, our values and principles have been clear:
We believe in the power of collective bargaining. 
We believe in equal rights, respect and dignity for all workers.
We are committed to creating a more equitable, just, diverse and inclusive workplace. 
We are committed to anti-racism and acknowledge union organizing as a tool in dismantling systems of white supremacy in the workplace. 
We believe in workplace democracy and recognize union organizing as a tool to ensure a participatory decision-making system.
We are committed to economic justice and recognize union organizing as a tool to secure fair wages. 
We are committed to gender equity and recognize union organizing as a tool to ensure a workplace free of discrimination, including sexual harassment and transphobia. 
We are committed to disability rights and recognize union organizing as a tool to create an accessible work environment. 
We are committed to immigrant justice and recognize union organizing as a tool to ensure no worker is disadvantaged, regardless of their national origin.

Over the past nine months, we’ve worked together to build a diverse coalition of staff in varying positions, from all departments, and in every office – who are similarly committed to these values and principles. 

Together, we collected union authorization cards from a supermajority of staff – and today we won the union election by an overwhelming majority, 142 to 45. 

Now, it’s time to get to the hard work of building a Union and negotiating a collective bargaining contract that works for benefit of all employees.  

In the coming days, the Union Organizing Committee will communicate with the bargaining unit regarding the staff survey and election of the Bargaining Committee. Please keep an eye on your personal emails.  

Finally, the Union Organizing Committee would like to thank everyone who volunteered to assist the Committee with the organizing drive. We could not have won this election without you. The Organizing Committee also recognizes the work of six emeritus members, many members of office outreach committees, and the staff who have been laying the groundwork for this movement for many years. 

Forward together,   
Cheyenne Blackburn
Cameron Clark
Danielle E. Davis
Esteban Gil
Raven Hodges
Elizabeth Johnson
Anya Malley
Jeff Migliozzi
Sumayya Saleh
Marlon Torres
Oliver Torres
Gracie Willis
Lisa Wright 
The SPLC Union Organizing Committee

In Defense of Black Lives

Members of the SPLC Union are grieving after yet another weekend of state-sponsored and sustained violence against Black lives in Louisiana and Wisconsin. Our hearts go out to the families of 31-year old Trayford Pellerin from Lafayette, LA, and 29-year old Jacob Blake from Kenosha, WI. May Mr. Pellerin rest in power. 

The family of Mr. Blake has confirmed that he is in stable condition and now paralyzed from the waist down. Mr. Blake, and his children who witnessed the police officer’s attempted murder, will now live with a permanent physical and emotional reminder of this act of violence.

 

We demand accountability for their very public lynchings, and for all of those that have come before them. 

It’s been 166 days since the police murdered Breonna Taylor in her own home. So far in 2020, the police have killed at least 751 people across the country. We refuse to wait any longer. Enough is enough.

We are so tired, but we stand firm in our commitment to our Black colleagues and loved ones. The SPLC Union is led by Black Womxn who organized our workplace in pursuit of equity and a shared desire to confront the threat of white supremacy. We are with you. We are heartbroken. 

If you are able, please support the following funds or organizations: 

Black Lives Matter

SPLC Union: We Condemn The Extrajudicial Killings of Black People, Which Carry On America’s Legacy of Racial Terror and White Supremacy

George Floyd should be alive today. Breonna Taylor should be alive today. Sean Reed should be alive today. Ahmaud Arbery should be alive today. Instead, they join an incalculable list of Black people who have been brutally lynched by white supremacists. 

Many of their executioners wear police uniforms. Others do not. All advance a shared vision: maintaining an oppressive system of white supremacy and anti-Blackness in America by means of racial terror. 

We denounce these murders and mourn with George’s, Breonna’s, Sean’s, and Ahmaud’s loved ones. We stand in solidarity with antiracist and police accountability activists and organizers across the country in demanding justice for George, Breonna, Sean, and Ahmaud. 

We also denounce the Southern Poverty Law Center’s silence on the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Sean Reed externally and its deafening silence on all four of these murders internally. 

The organization can – and must – do more to reject anti-Blackness and acknowledge the pain, trauma, and fear our Black colleagues and community partners are currently experiencing. 

Rest in power, George, Breonna, Sean, and Ahmaud.

Happy May Day!

Today is May 1st, celebrated across the world as International Workers’ Dayheld to commemorate labor demonstrations and strikes which brought us such victories as the eight-hour work day, weekends and safety protections. Original May Day celebrations commemorated the Haymarket Affair in the late 1800s, which led to several union organizers being executed.

In the United States, the history of May Day has been deliberately glossed over, and is not recognized by our government. In recent years, however, our friends and comrades in the struggle for immigrant justice have uplifted its significance and we remember the events on  May Day in 2006 as one of the greatest mass mobilizations of demonstrations and work-stoppages in the last several decades

This year, we are  spending our May Day socially-distant, but across the country, activists and labor groups are finding new and creative ways to raise their voices in place of physical gatherings and demonstrations. From London to Jakarta, Tunis to Cape Town, and Tijuana to Tierra del Fuego, May Day will spark  demonstrations and activism across the globe. Check out these photos from 2019. 

This May Day, we are reminded of the people who fought and died for the right to organize and have a real say in our working conditions. As August Spies, union organizer and martyr of the Haymarket Affair said in Court before being sentenced to death: “Here we will tread upon a spark, but there, and there, and behind you and in front of you, and everywhere, flames will blaze up. It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put it out.” 

Join us: SPLC Union Tele-Town Hall

The SPLC Union is hosting a Tele-Town Hall for the bargaining unit on Thursday, April 16 at 7:30 PM CST / 8:30 PM EST. We’ll talk about our rights during the current pandemic and provide important updates from your Interim Union Stewards. 

Topics of discussion will include the recently negotiated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), “contested” employees, and progress from the Bargaining Committee. Bruce Jett and Eric Geist from the WBNG will be available to help answer questions as well. 

Check your email for call-in instructions. If you are not receiving SPLC Union emails, please email us at union.splc@gmail.com or union.splc.stewards@gmail.com. The meeting will be recorded and shared with the bargaining unit.

In Solidarity, 

Interim Union Stewards

It’s Time to Elect a Bargaining Committee

To SPLC Union Members:

It’s time to elect a Bargaining Committee! 
 
What’s the Bargaining Committee?
The Bargaining Committee will play a crucial role in negotiating our contract with SPLC. The Bargaining Committee is responsible for reviewing the bargaining unit survey results and will determine the Committee’s priorities based on the results. They will perform research, formulate contract proposals, and work to maintain communication and exchange of information to and from the entire bargaining unit. 
 
Serving on the Bargaining Committee will require a significant commitment of energy, work, and time. The collective bargaining process may take several months or more. 
 
The Nomination Process
In the coming weeks, members of the SPLC Union Organizing Committee who have decided to not self-nominate or accept nominations for the Bargaining Committee will administer the election of the Bargaining Committee. 
 
The nomination period will begin on January 20, 2020 at 8 AM CT and end on January 24, 2020 at 5 PM CT. Any bargaining unit-eligible staff person can nominate themselves or another bargaining unit-eligible staff person. We will email the link to the nomination form to all bargaining unit-eligible staff on the morning of Monday, January 20, 2020. The election will start the following Monday at 8 AM CT and end at 5 PM CT on January 31, 2020. 
 
To self-nominate or nominate someone else, submit the nomination form. Bargaining unit members may self-nominate or be nominated to represent only one department or office location. Bargaining unit-eligible staff persons who are nominated by another colleague will be asked to accept or reject the nomination.
 
For a detailed breakdown of the entire election process, please see this document. 
 
The SPLC Union is deeply committed to anti-racism and encourages staff of color, especially women of color, to self-nominate and/or accept a nomination. All nominees will be required to sign a union authorization card if they haven’t already, submit a two-hundred and fifty (250) word or less statement to be distributed to the bargaining unit, and pledge to uphold the core values and principles under which the SPLC Union was founded.

Upcoming Meetings
During the nomination period, the SPLC Organizing Committee will host a bargaining unit meeting on the week of January 20th (stay tuned for the date and time). The meeting will be recorded and accessible via Zoom. During the meeting, we will discuss the collective bargaining process, the Bargaining Committee’s duties and responsibilities, and the role of bargaining unit-eligible staff. 
 
In Conclusion
We look forward to engaging with all bargaining unit members in the coming weeks to elect a strong Bargaining Committee and to continue to build a robust community among the unit. Once the Bargaining Committee has negotiated a collective bargaining agreement, all bargaining unit-eligible staff will vote to ratify or reject the agreement. Once the contract is ratified, we will actively work together to make it “ours” and effective. 
 
The power of the SPLC Union comes from bargaining unit staff!

SPLC Union Bargaining Unit Survey

To SPLC Union Members:

In the next two weeks, a process will be shared for the election of a bargaining committee. As a next step, please fill out this survey to provide the SPLC Union Bargaining Committee with information regarding what matters most to the bargaining unit. Survey results are due by Wednesday, January 15, 2020. UPDATE: This deadline has been extended to 5 p.m. CT on Friday, January 31, 2020.
 
Instructions for the SPLC Union Bargaining Committee election process will be coming soon.
 
As a reminder, if you know staff who joined SPLC after November 8th, and who are Bargaining Unit-eligible but are not receiving our emails, please encourage them to contact the Union Organizing Committee at union.splc@gmail.com.
 
 
The SPLC Union Organizing Committee

We Are the SPLC Union, and We Are Asking for Your Vote

Dear Colleague,

On Monday, December 16, the National Labor Relations Board will count our ballots. We ask that you vote YES to representation by the Washington-Baltimore News Guild

Together, we have worked side-by-side to fight hate, teach tolerance and seek justice. Working to root out hatred and injustice has required us to face head-on, the inequities that plague our society. Unfortunately, we have also experienced many of these inequities in our workplace. Despite the challenges we have endured, we can have a better Southern Poverty Law Center. 

From the beginning, the SPLC Union’s values and principles have been clear:

  • We believe in the power of collective bargaining. 
  • We believe in equal rights, respect and dignity for all workers.
  • We are committed to creating a more equitable, just, diverse and inclusive workplace. 
  • We are committed to anti-racism and acknowledge union organizing as a tool in dismantling systems of white supremacy in the workplace. 
  • We believe in workplace democracy and recognize union organizing as a tool to ensure a participatory decision-making system.
  • We are committed to economic justice and recognize union organizing as a tool to secure fair wages. 
  • We are committed to gender equity and recognize union organizing as a tool to ensure a workplace free of discrimination, including sexual harassment and transphobia. 
  • We are committed to disability rights and recognize union organizing as a tool to create an accessible work environment. 
  • We are committed to immigrant justice and recognize union organizing as a tool to ensure no worker is disadvantaged, regardless of their national origin. 

These values and principles are more than a vision. They are a blueprint for the new reality we can — and will — co-create together through collective bargaining. 

We will create an organization in which people of color and women get equal pay for equal work; an organization in which transparency and accountability are paramount; an organization in which all employees are paid a living wage that allows them to thrive; an organization that works daily to rid itself of discrimination and bias; an organization that listens to its workers and empowers them to lead; an organization in which line-level staff have a seat at the decision-making table; and an organization in which we are no longer at-will employees, but instead, are just-cause employees.

Collective bargaining will ensure all staff have a voice in determining our working conditions — and in SPLC’s workplace transformation process.  So we ask you: What kind of SPLC do you want to see?

Together, we will usher in a new day at the SPLC, and co-create a workplace that is reflective of our values: disrupting white supremacy, pursuing equity, building solidarity and uniting workers.

We ask that you vote YES. 

Forward together,

The SPLC Union Organizing Committee

Casting Your Ballot

The Union Election is here!

Check Your Mailbox For Your Ballot

  • The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) will mail election ballots to eligible voters’ home addresses on Monday, November 25.
  • If you do not receive a ballot by Monday, December 2, please contact the NLRB Regional Office immediately at 410-962-2822 or the national toll-free line at 1-844-762-6572. 

This Will Be a Secret Ballot Election

  • The election will be conducted by secret ballot via U.S. mail, under the supervision of the NLRB.
  • Your vote in the election will be strictly confidential.

Be Sure To Fill Out Your Ballot Correctly

  • A majority of the valid ballots cast will determine the results of the election. Accordingly, the success of our union organizing drive depends on you voting YES to representation by the Washington-Baltimore News Guild and mailing your ballot back to the NLRB.
  • Be sure to follow ALL instructions on the ballot. To be sure your ballot is counted, you must (1) complete the ballot; (2) sign the yellow self-addressed envelope; and (3) mail the envelope back to the NLRB (no postage necessary). 
  • The NLRB will count the ballots at 3 PM ET on Monday, December 16. In order to be counted, ballots must be received in the NLRB prior to the counting of the ballots. Accordingly, we encourage you to put your ballot in the mail no later than Wednesday, December 11

Sample Ballots

Non-Lawyers and other “Non-Professionals” (i.e., employees in Voting Group B) will receive the below ballot. To vote YES, mark an “X” in the square under the word “YES.”

Lawyers and other “Professionals” (i.e., employees in Voting Group A) will receive the below ballot. 

  • Under Federal labor law, attorneys and other employees whose job requires specialized or advanced training or education must affirmatively choose to be included in the same bargaining unit as paralegals, administrative assistants, and other “non-professionals.” 
  • One of the major principles of this union organizing drive is that we are STRONGER TOGETHER. 
     
  • Accordingly, we ask that you vote YES twice, by marking an “X” in the square under the word “YES” in response to both questions.

How Many YES Votes Do We Need to Win?

If the SPLC Union wins a majority (50% plus one) of the votes, the Washington-Baltimore News Guild becomes the certified representative for the SPLC Union. 

Questions?

Please review the SPLC Union’s website for answers to frequently asked questions.

Election instructions can also be found in the NLRB’s Election Notice.

Still have a question? Contact the Union Organizing Committee at union.splc@gmail.com.

Forward together!