This letter is intended to communicate our organization’s concern regarding the current state of affairs with our union and to propose a way forward.
When we were notified of our employees’ intent to unionize, we voluntarily recognized the effort out of a fundamental belief in worker’s rights to unionize. Having no expertise in this area, we hired professional assistance to navigate the journey and reached agreement on a fair and reasonable contract (negotiated in good faith and in a professional manner on a tight timetable). The FairVote Minnesota board has been engaged, aligned and supportive of these actions and feels our organization has acted with high integrity throughout the process.
The issue at hand is our communication regarding layoffs. We are taking to heart your feedback and acknowledge that we need to bring more transparency to our hiring and layoff practice. FairVote Minnesota has historically adjusted staffing in sync with the legislative and campaign schedules, and as budget realities dictate. We now see that we should have done a better job of communicating this to our dedicated staff and to the union and commit to doing so in the future. Although the initial offer letter was clear on the length of employment (i.e., “You further understand that this position is related to passing Ranked Choice Voting statewide in the 2021 legislative session and is subject to that process”), as circumstances changed throughout the year, our communication created confusion. In the future, we commit to more transparent communication on these matters.
We want to make this right. We would like to announce a new campaign effective immediately, to raise funds to rehire field staff that our budget constraints drove us to lay off. We believe this fundraising effort will have the greatest chance of success with a statement from the Minnesota Guild supporting Ranked Choice Voting and acknowledging the importance of union field positions at FairVote Minnesota in achieving our mutual goals.
On behalf of the Board, we look forward to moving forward in partnership to advance the mission of democracy in the workplace and in our elections. Again, please accept our apologies for our communication failures. We look forward to working with you to make this fundraising effort successful and to supporting our union through the creation of more union jobs. Your support in achieving these goals will be important and appreciated. We will keep you apprised of our progress