September 26, 2020
On September 16, we informed you that the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2110 began a vote to potentially authorize the UAW to a call a strike at some point in the future.
We have learned that the UAW recently obtained enough votes to authorize a strike, and although that does not mean that a strike will indeed happen, we want to communicate what we know at this moment to keep you as informed as possible. Please see below for relevant answers to pressing questions about this situation.
Crissy and the Board of Trustees
Why did the Union hold a strike authorization vote?
According to communications from the Union and colleagues, a strike authorization vote was held to pressure the School to withdraw its petition to clarify the bargaining unit.
What was the result of the strike authorization vote?
The Union said that colleagues voted 120-5 in favor of authorizing a strike. The bargaining unit includes approximately 200 colleagues, which means that approximately 75 colleagues did not cast votes. Although some have characterized the results as 96% voting in favor of authorizing a strike, the reality is that approximately 40% of the colleagues in the bargaining unit never voted to authorize a strike.
What happens if the Union decides to strike? What will the School do? Will classes continue? If my child’s teacher is on strike, who will teach their class? How long would a strike last?
We remain hopeful that the Union will ultimately choose not to strike. Welcoming children back to school over the past two weeks has been energizing and joyful, and our students without question are thrilled to have begun learning and engaging with their peers and teachers once again.
The goal is to keep the school experience whole for your children. We are working to solidify plans to do just this and will share details as they become available.
The length of a potential strike is not up to BFS. We do not know how long the Union would stage a work stoppage.
If the Union strikes, what happens to colleagues who did not vote in favor of a strike?
The School has no knowledge about who voted or how any colleague voted. In the unfortunate event that the Union initiates a work stoppage, BFS intends to carry on serving our students and families by all lawful means. Any colleague who wants to work during a potential strike would have the legal right to do so, and any colleague who decides to work and continue earning pay from the School will be welcomed by the School. Each colleague is free to make their own decision about whether to work during a strike. BFS will not subject any colleague to reprisals for deciding to work—or to not work—during a work stoppage.