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Corrected: Workers <i>cannot</i> use state email, phone to mobilize

Sep 09, 2015 6:52 am
CORRECTION: Jeff Waggoner corrected, but did not retract, his Sept. 8, 2015 story at Capitol Confidential (which WGXC summarized and included in its local headlines on Wed., Sept. 9). The full text of the correction appears below:

In a post yesterday, I wrote that a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board would allow state workers to use its work email and telephone for union work.

I was wrong. The NLRB does not cover public workers.

As a PEF member wrote in an email Wednesday morning:
The gist of the post is that State employees represented by a union can use their email to organize, etc. This belief is entirely incorrect and Mr. Waggoner’s implication to the contrary could result in our Members being disciplined.

The NLRB, as those familiar with Labor issues are well aware, only covers private sector employees. While there was a decision in December of last year which did address what Mr. Waggoner was writing about, it does not apply to PEF, CSEA or any other public sector union. For verification, you can visit the NLRB website and look at bottom of the page for the listed exceptions. A little research or due diligence would have shown to Mr. Waggoner the premise of his blog post is faulty.

Jeff Waggoner is reporting at Capitol Confidential recent rulings by the National Labor Relations Board, combined with changing technologies, make it legal for a public worker to use his or her state email and telephone to do union work. In December, the NLRB held that employees have the right to use company-provided email systems during non-working times to engage in union activities. In April, the board entitled unions to use employee phone numbers and personal e-mail addresses. Employees can now communicate anonymously about working conditions, issues, and even gather electronic signatures for a union petition. If virtual organizing takes hold, union membership could radically increase in the USA, according to Waggoner. Read the full story at Capitol Confidential, a Times Union blog.
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