14 South Main St.
Hanover, NH 03755
RE: SEIU 560
Dear Attorney O’Leary:
I am in possession of your letter dated April 14, 2011. Thank you for the same. Your response is duly noted and it is a dark day for the “Dartmouth Family”. In February of 2010 representatives from the College and the Union met to commence reaching an agreement during what I believe was termed the worse economic situation face by Dartmouth since the “Great Depression” and an unprecedented diminishment of value to the Endowment fund. The College let it be known that we were all facing hard times and that there was a plan for trying to rejuvenate the college. It was a time that we all had to make sacrifices to Save the Dartmouth Family.
Local 560 responded and agreed to attempt to save the “Dartmouth Family”, as we were all in this together. Local 560 agreed, for the first time, to reduce wages, health care benefits, retirement and other concessions temporarily. The College agreed to maintain “free single coverage” and not to initiate layoffs. However, we still do not have a signed contract and the “free single coverage” is not free. While the College has not initiated any additional layoffs it continues to subcontract out unit work. We were also to find out that representations made concerning the Hanover Inn were not as portrayed by the College.
While the economy has turned around, the endowment fund has rebounded, and the College is showing record “profits” the College would deny and treat disparately less than 10% of their employees because they tried to save the “Dartmouth Family”. We still believe in the Dartmouth Family and the Dartmouth Experience, but disavow any attempt to make our family dysfunctional through misrepresentation and manipulation of the facts for the benefit of corporate and /or institutional greed.
While I am sure that the College can conjure up a self serving rationalization for it actions please be advised that it is now seen as just that, a rationalization. The SEIU 560 hopes to someday reinvigorate the harmonious relationship that was the Dartmouth Experience and Family, but does not believe that all share in that goal. This is a turning point in the relationship and one that will only bring disharmony. Regretfully, this is the path chosen by the College for us all.