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Q. What does TEA think about flexibility at work?

We’re for it. We don’t want to negotiate a contract full of very precise work rules that must be applied to everyone, regardless of their work or home situation.

Instead, everyone should feel able to participate in conversations about how best to get the work done in their area. Many Tufts employees enjoy this sort of flexibility right now, and we’d like to support it and set up processes to expand it. We know that employees and managers can work well together to find creative ways to balance the needs of the workplace and the needs of the staff.

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Q. How could my schedule change if we form a union at Tufts?

Schedules are probably the most obvious and common example of workplace flexibility. A lot of university work doesn’t need to be done at a certain time of day. That’s great, because it means that flexible work schedules can work in many departments. Staff members and managers can work out the details together, so that the needs of the department and the needs of the staff member can both be taken into account.

Quite a few people at Tufts currently enjoy some degree of give-and-take in their job schedules. Some are able to balance work and taking classes, while others have arranged creative ways to combine work and taking care of children or an elderly relative, or taking care of themselves when they have a health issue. We would like to build on those successful experiences to encourage flexibility in every department.

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Q. How could TEA make the workplace more flexible?

In any case where TEA members want to make flexibility a priority, we can work with managers at all levels and other Tufts staff to loosen up rigid habits and policies.

As a union, we can negotiate for flexibility. Using our combined knowledge, we can train the community in best practices for flexibility, we can offer help to any employee who would like to find a flexible solution to an individual situation, and we can provide opportunities for employees to share ideas with each other about creative solutions to problems.

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Q. If we form a union at Tufts, can departments do things differently from each other if that’s what works for them?

Absolutely. What’s right for one department is not necessarily right for another department and that’s okay.

The most important thing is that employees have a voice in the decisions that affect us. And TEA believes in keeping the decision-making as local as possible. For example, if the staff in a department want to change their work processes, they can sit down with their managers (with help from union staff if they want it), and figure out what would work best for everybody there.

Intro to TEA | Who, What, When | Dues | Flexibility
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Tufts Employee Association (TEA), Tel: 617-620-7686, Email: tea.info@teawork.org

 




Tufts employees Justin Wheeler and Andrea Caceres.
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