Editor, The Messenger,

My name is Serena McCollum and I am a 28-year Classified Employee at Ohio University. I have fought for our unionization in the past and I am doing it again now.

The reasons we need a union is protection for our jobs, a voice that gives us control over our pay and benefits, and a seat at the negotiating table. Together we want to guarantee a contract that will provide us a decent yearly raise, benefits that will not diminish, and a guarantee that our jobs will not be eliminated or converted into administrative jobs.

Many have asked why I care. This is not about me; it is important for all the folks who have years to work. If you’re a Classified Employee – ask yourself, would you rather be at the mercy of the university to dole out the measly 1% raises that we have been getting if we are lucky and those raises end up costing you money because our insurance benefits go up and are going to keep going up, or would you rather be a voting member of a union to set your own raises? The union is 100% our union. We as union members decide together what we want in a contract and everyone has a voice in those decisions.

On a personal note my husband was a union member for 36 years and was more than happy to pay dues and make sure that he made a decent wage, good benefits especially good healthcare for his family. I want more control over my future. I believe for that to happen we as Classified Staff need to stand strong and opt to belong to a union. A union will provide us with that voice and a place at the negotiating table that cannot be denied by the university.

As a reminder, your ballot is being mailed out. Please vote YES and send that ballot back in as soon as possible. We want our voices heard, we deserve to have a say in our own future, and we will stand strong as members of our own union!

Sincerely,

Serena McCollum

Nelsonville

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