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Smith College Files Charges Against SCLWU

On Monday, June 24, SCLWU received notice that Smith’s attorney Nicholas Anastasopoulos filed two charges against the union, alleging SCLWU violated sections 8(b)(3) and 8(d) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

For the first charge, Anastasopoulos claims the union “engaged in bad faith bargaining based on its actual lack of authority to reach tentative agreements during first CBA negotiations.” The second charge alleges the union ”engaged in bad faith bargaining over challenged positions.”

Why Were Charges Filed?

At our June 13 bargaining session, the SCLWU bargaining committee (BC) and the union’s attorney informed Smith management of two things:

1. The BC believes a democratic approach to bargaining is essential to the union’s mission and values, and therefore intends to invite the collective to review tentative agreements (TAs) as they are bargained. Traditional bargaining only invites the collective to read TAs when the contract is poised for ratification, so our approach is considered radical by some.

2. The BC filed a charge against the college for violating section 8 (a)(3) of the NLRA by failing to recognize our four contested workers as eligible SCLWU members prior to, and after the union election in April 2024.

In addition to these charges, SCLWU has also filed a charge against the college for withholding raises from our members and violating what should unequivocally be a period of “status quo” for our members.

At the June 20 bargaining session, the parties came to four tentative agreements on non-economic proposals, and the discussion suggested answers were forthcoming on other pending issues. However, management decided to instead file charges against SCLWU immediately after bargaining. 

We will address these charges at our next bargaining session on July 11. In the meantime, we urge our members and the public to show support and stand in solidarity with the bargaining committee and with our contested members!

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