Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Sunday, May 27, 2018

Secretary claims she was fired for unionization efforts

The recently fired Math Department Secretary Stacey Lucien claimed both her involvement with unions and racial discrimination from her supervisors led to her job’s termination on Nov. 16.

Lucien filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board earlier this year, but the charge was dismissed after investigation, according to Maralee Csellar, assistant director of AU media relations.

“The University consistently and conscientiously complies with all rules and regulations promulgated by the National Labor Relations Board and has applied these principles in relation to posting union material on campus,” Csellar said in an email.

The University also cannot comment on personnel matters, according to Csellar.

After her experiences working with the Department of Mathematics and Statistics Chair Jeffrey Adler and her previous supervisor Jonathan Post, budget and personnel manager in the College of Arts and Sciences, Lucien said she wanted to create a union.

“My actions of forming a union was partly the results of Jeff Alder’(s) hostile attitude not only to me but minorities in general,” Lucien said in an email to the mathematics and statistics department Dec 4.

Adler said he could not comment on the matter and referred all questions to AU media relations. Post could not be reached for comment.

In her termination letter obtained by The Eagle, Adler said he fired Lucien due to her Nov. 12 email to the entire department about the Chair election process which had a “hostile and negative nature.” He also cited two written warnings issued in Nov. 2011 and Aug. 2012.

Two faculty members reached out to Adler about Lucien’s email to the department indicating her negative tone, according to the letter.

“Your communication remains unprofessional, needlessly hostile, and disrespectful,” Adler said in the letter.

Lucien claimed the administration does not want the staff to unionize.

“[The College of Arts and Sciences] does not want us talking to people,” Lucien said. “I am for freedom of speech. If it’s within the law, no one can say ‘don’t do it.’”

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