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Some FAQs

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Featured image: Milwaukee Journal, 1967 (Milwaukee Public Library).

What is a union?

A union is a group of co-workers who use organize for better working conditions at their workplace. Through unions, co-workers have the power to improve their wages, benefits, job security, workplace health and safety, professional development and other work-related issues.

What is a wall-to-wall union? 

A wall-to-wall union is a union where all co-workers at an employer are welcome to join the union. In wall-to-wall unions, different job classifications (like student, faculty, and staff) may have different contracts with the employer, but all co-workers are part of the same union. This is often called “wall-to-wall representation” even though different co-workers are often technically in different bargaining units. By coming together, taking coordinated action, and standing up for one another, we can win victories for ourselves and all of our communities on campus.

What is United Campus Workers? 

United Campus Workers (UCW) is a network of a dozen local unions in states across the Southeast, Southwest, and Midwest. Local unions take on issues in the diverse contexts of their different states and campuses. Local unions are part of the federation of local unions at Communications Workers of America (CWA). CWA is one of America’s largest and most diverse unions. Members work not just in the communications and information industries, but also in the news media, the airlines, broadcast and cable television, public service, higher education and health care, manufacturing, in high tech and more. As a federation of local unions, CWA is a democratic union.

Can UCW-WI win recognition and contracts?

In the past you may've heard a union couldn't win recognition and contracts at a private religious institution like Marquette University. Today the situation is different. UCW-WI can win recognition and collectively bargain for fair wages, contracts, and benefits on campus, like our co-workers who are covered by SEIU Local 1.

How much are dues in UCW-WI?

Being a wall-to-wall union where many folks receive different compensation than others, we ask folks to pay dues at different rates depending on their personal compensation. If you make less than $20K/year, then your dues rate would be $7.25/month. If you make $50K-$60K/year, then your dues rate would be $26/month. Dues support information technology and legal services, for example.

Why should I join UCW-WI? 

UCW-WI organizes for fair wages, contracts, and benefits for undergraduate and graduate student workers, adjunct and non-tenure-track faculty, and university staff at Marquette University. When you join us, you are choosing to work together with your co-workerswhich is always more powerful than doing so aloneto better our collective working conditions and lives on campus. We want to have a seat at the table and a direct say in the terms of our employment. If we work together, we can create a better, fairer, more just university for ourselves and our co-workers and students alike. We hope you'll consider joining us.

How do I get involved?

The first step is to visit an open meeting or become a member. Folks can always check out our home page for upcoming open meetings. We also hold regular virtual organizing meetings on various issues and organizing initiatives that're also often open to new/interested folks. Some members focus on the website, others on developing public statements, others on recruiting new members, and others on communicating with newly joined members. We collectively benefit from our wide array of strengths and skills to develop our community and to build our power on campus.

Isn’t Wisconsin a “right to work” state? 

Yes, but private-sector unions may win recognition at the NLRB and collectively bargain in the state, like our co-workers who are covered by SEIU Local 1.

What is a collective bargaining agreement?

In essence, a collective bargaining agreement is a contract negotiated between a union and employer for a specific bargaining unit. One of the primary goals of UCW-WI is to negotiate fair contracts for undergraduate and graduate student workers, adjunct and non-tenure-track faculty, and university staff on campus. Different classifications of workers (like student, faculty, and staff) may be part of different bargaining units and negotiate different contracts with the university.

Have other questions for us?

We'd love to hear from you! You can email us at [email protected].