Wednesday Wisdom: Louis Brandeis On The Need For Strong Labor Unions

“Strong, responsible unions are essential to industrial fair play.  Without them the labor bargain is wholly one-sided.  The parties to the labor contract must be nearly equal in strength if justice is to be worked out, and this means that the workers must be organized and that their organizations must be recognized by employers as a condition precedent to industrial peace.”

—Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, 1934

Wednesday Wisdom: Albert Einstein on Academic Freedom

By academic freedom I understand the right to search for truth and to publish and teach what one holds to be true. This right implies also duty: one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true. It is evident that any restriction on academic freedom acts in such a way as to hamper the dissemination of knowledge among the people and thereby impedes rational judgment and action.

AAUP Member Albert Einstein, 1954


The Supreme Court on Academic Freedom

“Our Nation is deeply committed to safeguarding academic freedom, which is of transcendent value to all of us, and not merely to the teachers concerned. That freedom is therefore a special concern of the First Amendment, which does not tolerate laws that cast a pall of orthodoxy over the classroom.”

Keyishian v. Board of Regents, 385 U.S. 589 (1967)


Congratulations to the 2017 AAUP-UC Scholarship Winners!

From a number of very qualified submissions, the Scholarship Selection Committee is proud to announce the following 2017 AAUP-UC Scholarship Winners, which were awarded at the AAUP-UC General Membership Meeting on May 1, 2017:


The Virgil C. Crisafulli Scholarship for leadership and service in the spirit of the AAUP was awarded to Megan Sliski, nominated by Mary Siniscarco, Chair of Health Studies and Assistant Professor of Health Studies.



The Robert W. Millett Scholarship for Academic Achievement was awarded to Lana Nitti, nominated by Kimberly Etman, Counselor/Tutorial Coordinator, Office of Opportunity Programs.



Read more about the AAUP-UC Scholarships and see past winners here.


Your Weingarten Rights Turned 42 This Month!

Forty-two years ago, on Feb. 19, 1975, the high court ruled that an employee has the right to request union representation in any meeting that she or he feels could result in discipline or termination.

You Are Being Asked Questions That Might Lead To Disciplinary Action: What Do You Do?

If you believe that discipline will result from a meeting with management/administration (in legalese, “an investigatory interview”), you can insist that a union representative be present during this interview. This is part of your “Weingarten Rights,” which references the 1975 United States Supreme Court case NLRB vs. Weingarten. Weingarten Rights apply only to members of a collective bargaining unit and are among the many benefits of having a union.

When an investigatory interview occurs, the following rules apply:

Rule 1) – You must make a clear request for effective union representation before or during the interview. Often an employee may not know at the outset that a meeting with management could lead to discipline. If such a meeting is or becomes an “investigatory interview,” you should assert your right to have a union officer of your choosing present. You cannot be punished for making this request. (Note: If the union representative of your choice is not available in a reasonable time period, it may be necessary for an alternative union officer to represent you.)

A typical Weingarten request would be: “If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative be present at this meeting. Until my union representative arrives, I choose not to participate in this discussion.” Or you may simply say, “I want my union representative here.”

Rule 2) – After you make this request, the interviewer has three options:

    1. Grant the request and delay the interview until your union representative arrives and has a chance to consult privately with you. (Note: The right to representation is the right to effective representation, which translates in this rule as the right to consult privately with the representative before the interview. The union representative should also know what the meeting is about ahead of time so that he/she can effectively advise you.)
    2. Deny the request and end the interview immediately; or
    3. Give you a choice of: (I) having the interview continue without representation or (II) ending the interview. (Note: It is not wise to choose the first option.)

Rule 3) – If the interviewer denies your request and continues to ask questions, this is an unfair labor practice. You have the right not to answer any questions until you have union representation. You cannot be disciplined for refusing to answer the questions, but you are required to sit there until the supervisor terminates the interview. Leaving before this happens may constitute punishable insubordination in some cases.

The AAUP-UC represents all members of the bargaining unit, both those who pay dues and those who do not, and is obligated to come to your aid without prejudice. If you are summoned to a meeting with a member of administration and discover that it is an “investigatory interview,” assert your right to have a union representative present.

Download a printable PDF of this information here

Martin Luther King Jr. on the Combined Strength of Unions and African Americans

The two most dynamic movements that reshaped the nation during the past three decades are the labor and civil rights movements. Our combined strength is potentially enormous. We have not used a fraction of it for our own good or for the needs of society as a whole. If we make the war on poverty a total war; if we seek higher standards for all workers for an enriched life, we have the ability to accomplish it, and our nation has the ability to provide it. lf our two movements unite their social pioneering initiative, thirty years from now people will look back on this day and honor those who had the vision to see the full possibilities of modern society and the courage to fight for their realization. On that day, the brotherhood of man, undergirded by economic security, will be a thrilling and creative reality.

Speech given to the Illinois State AFL-CIO SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, OCT. 7, 1965

For more great quotations from King’s Speeches to Trade Unions, see this document from the AFL-CIO.


Annual AAUP-UC Holiday Party Tonight!

Don’t miss the AAUP-UC Holiday Party TONIGHT, 7-11pm at The Trackside Restaurant. 

Even if you haven’t registered, you can still attend by paying $30 at the door.

Don’t miss out on the good food, door prizes, photo booth, and live music and dancing!

More details below:

We are holding this year’s holiday party in a fantastic new location: The Trackside Restaurant at Union Station. This unique restaurant, featuring a wraparound bar and excellent food, is in the beautiful Utica train station, an iconic structure that is in the National Register of Historic Places. There is also convenient parking adjacent to the Trackside Restaurant entrance.

Where: The Trackside Restaurant in Utica’s Historic Train Station, 321 Main St., Utica, NY
When: Friday, December 2, 7:00pm -11:00pm

7pm – 8pm: Appetizers, Cash Bar, Music
8pm  9pm: Dinner Including Chicken Marsala, Roast Beef, Wine & More
9pm  11pm: Dessert, Coffee, Cash Bar, Music, Dancing & Door Prizes!

*Bonus* Photo Booth All Night Long!

We hope to see you there!