To the Editor:
I am a senior here at Ohio University, and I write today to show support for Ohio University’s classified employees in their efforts to unionize and ask that President Dr. Duane Nellis and Ohio University voluntarily recognize their union.
These workers have put in the work and come together. The university should act in good faith and honor this showing.
As the son of hard-working union members, I know the immense impact that the benefits of union membership can deliver to members and their families.
I would not be in the position that I am in today without the pay and benefits that my parents could earn as union employees. The health-care benefits won by their respective unions and are available to them allowed us to live without the fear being able to afford to go to the doctor, an anxiety that so many in our society experience.
I am also heavily involved with LGBTQ advocacy here in Ohio. As many readers will know, it is still legal for employers to discriminate against LGBTQ employees and applicants due to their sexual orientation. Thankfully, many LGBTQ workers belong to unions, which have been working for protections for them for decades. Unions led the way in Ohio and across the country in including these protections into contracts for all of their members.
An overwhelming majority of classified employees signed cards indicating their support to form a union. These workers are the people who make this university operate. They are the administrative staff whom students develop strong relationships with over their college careers and ensure that programs and centers across campus move smoothly. Our classified staff members are the faces of the university. They’re the people who build careers here and lay down roots in the community that not only make Ohio University the place it is, but also help make Athens the place it is.
President Nellis should show classified staff the appreciation and indebtedness that we all feel for them by officially recognizing their union and allowing them all to get to work on the collective bargaining process.