Email Exchange

Email from Cory McCartan to President Kington
November 28, 2018

Dear Dr. Kington:

This afternoon, I called one of your lawyers with the hopes of discussing possible cooperation now that our election has concluded.  After being shunted to another lawyer, my inquiries were met with a referral to the college's recent memo.

The memo states that "we [the college] remain deeply concerned about the significant harm that this specific change poses for Grinnell’s educational mission."  This is precisely the reason I had reached out to your legal team in the first place.

At this point, the college's refusal to interact with us seriously is ridiculous.  I understand that we have  different views and different strategies on the matter before the NLRB.  But to undermine all possible avenues of communication between our organizations (and your own students)—by refusing to meet with us, by publishing all of our communications intended for your legal counsel, and by ignoring our further requests to discuss the matter in person and over the phone—is incredibly short-sighted.   There is no way that this ends well if you simply refuse to communicate.

What I intended to raise on the phone was the possibility of a framework agreement similar to the one that Columbia University agreed to last week.  Our Board shares the college's commitment to Grinnell's core mission and want to ensure that unionization does not negatively impact it.  I have enclosed a first draft proposal of something along these lines.  This would be a legally binding document that would address the college's concerns.  Our Board is of course open to discussing any changes or further issues.  A framework would provide stability and certainty to this process, something both UGSDW and the college stand to gain from.

I would ask that the college choose not to publish this letter and the enclosed proposal.  Again, it hurts both sides if we feel that we can't be forthright and open in our written communications.

As always, we are willing and able to meet or call to discuss this matter.  Quinn Ercolani, our president, has temporarily postponed our scheduled picket tomorrow, to wait for a response from the you.


Cory McCartan

Attachment: framework-proposal.pdf



Email from President Kington to Cory McCartan
December 4, 2018

Dear Cory,

Thank you for your note.

I understand and respect your wish to discuss this matter on behalf of UGSDW. Unfortunately, as Grinnell already communicated, the College has concluded that we legally cannot bargain or discuss a framework agreement with UGSDW while our appeal is pending before the NLRB.

That said, my door is always open to you or any other student who would like to speak with me individually as a member of our academic community, not as a representative of UGSDW or other student workers. If you would like to set up a meeting, please contact Tammy Prusha (

I also appreciate your desire to communicate confidentially on this matter. In a situation like this, however, it is important for the College to maintain its commitment to transparency. Therefore, as we have with other communications on this matter in recent weeks, we will post your email along with the proposed framework agreement on the College’s website. We will post this response there as well. We regret that we cannot honor your request to keep this communication confidential.

Again, I want to reiterate that my door is always open to you as a student, and despite our differences about unionization, I hope you can appreciate that the College’s actions are driven by our sincere desire to preserve Grinnell’s educational mission.


Raynard Kington

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