TO: ALAA Members
FROM: Deborah Wright, President
Re: New Email Policy – 6 Month Trial Period
Date: October 6, 2009
The new email policy governing ALAA’s use of management’s email system will be taking effect tomorrow, October 7, 2009. We have been discussing the various problems regarding ALAA’s use of management’s email system for a year now, and I trust that I do not have to rehash the sordid history that has led us here. As I reported via email on September 17, 2009, the Joint Council voted overwhelmingly, 37-5-2, to try this new policy for a period of six (6) months, to both save ALAA’s use of management’s email system to converse with one another and to avoid a costly, and, most likely, unsuccessful arbitration. I have attached the relevant documents once again, and Steve Banks and I will be signing the agreement tomorrow.
Both ALAA and management wanted to begin this (6) month trial on October 1st, but the ALAA email group needed to be reviewed to remove the supervisors that have been included over the years. Unfortunately, that took longer than expected and pushed us past our original projected start date. I am happy to announce that for the first time, in who knows how long, our ALAA email group contains only ALAA members. I have reviewed the new list several times, but I need all of you to take a look at it as well and make sure that I am correct. Obviously, if you find someone who doesn’t belong on that list, notify me immediately. Also, if you notice that an ALAA member is missing, notify me and I will have them added immediately.
So, what does this mean? All of you will continue to receive email notifications from me and George regarding official ALAA/UAW business and any notifications that we feel the membership should be apprised of. As for all of you, each member will retain the ability to send emails to each other over the ALAA group, as long as we adhere to the parameters of the new policy.
For all those members who wish to solicit information regarding doctors, attorneys, apartments, tickets, job opportunities, pets for adoption, etc., your ability to send out one email will not change. See the second attachment. What does need to change is that members, who wish to respond to such emails, must respond solely to the sender. There is absolutely no need to hit “reply all” and clog up everyone’s inbox. If you happen to be interested in the information that a member is soliciting, simply contact the sender of that email on your own.
This new policy will change the way in which members have been informing/discussing issues of a political nature that have caused controversy within the membership. Those types of emails are the ones that management wants us to create “chat groups” for, giving every member the chance to “opt out” of being part of such a chat group and receiving those types of emails. What this means is that any member who wishes to discuss such issues must first send an email to the ALAA group declaring their interest in a particular topic and informing the membership that if they do not want to receive such emails, they must respond declaring that they be removed from the group. It will be the responsibility of individual members to create their chat groups based on the responses received. Once a chat group on a particular issue has been created, the members of that group can then discuss and exchange information. Even if you initially join a particular group, but then change your mind, you can simply notify the group’s creator to be removed. All requests to be removed from a chat group must be followed.
What will happen if a member refuses to adhere to the email policy? Any member who is found to be in violation of management’s email policy will be contacted by management and instructed to stop sending such emails. If the member persists in violating the email policy, management will take action to stop that member’s ability to send emails to the ALAA email group and to respond to what other members are sending. Basically, that member would only be able to receive ALAA emails. ALAA will be notified of the problem and an investigation will begin. As will all other union matters, ALAA will decide if a grievance should be filed based on the results of the investigation.
Again, this new policy will be in effect for six (6) months, specifically to April 7, 2010. At that time, both ALAA and management will assess the results of this trial. In the interim, however, ALAA will be investigating the creation of our own email system, which a lot of members have expressed interest in over the past several months.