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SCLWU Updates: Election, member eligibility, and more


On Monday, March 18, SCLWU and OPEIU representation met with Smith for a pre-hearing to see if an agreement could be reached regarding member eligibility without having to go to a hearing.

Currently, there are five workers on SCLWU’s list who the college believes meet the NLRB definition of "manager," making them ineligible for membership, as well as four staff whose positions are housed under both SCL and Information Technology Services (ITS), which the college asserts requires clarification. This creates a list of nine workers SCLWU believes should be in unit but Smith has not agreed to.

While no agreement was reached regarding these nine workers, a stipulation was agreed upon, stating that all disputed workers mentioned above will be allowed to vote, but their ballots will be subject to negotiation after the election.


The election will take place on April 9 at the Smith Conference Center (49 College Lane) from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This is a majority-vote-wins and the majority is composed of people who show up to vote. Learn more about election details here.

Importantly, there are going to be two separate ballots. Group A ballots have two questions and Group B ballots have one. According to SCLWU's list, There are 42 workers for the unit all together: 31 in the "professional" list and 11 listed as “paraprofessional," with all of the disputed workers in Group A.

This will create what is called a sonotone election. There will be separate ballots for each list. The terminology may feel dated, unpleasant, or unnecessarily divisive, but what it means is that the “paraprofessionals," or Group B, will vote for or against the union, while the “professionals," or Group A, vote for or against the union as well as whether or not the "paraprofessionals" will be in the unit.

SCLWU unequivocally supports all SCL staff under one union! This a big part of why most of us want to unionize—to truly be stronger together.

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