Open Response to Mike Leitch

Mike Leitch is an attorney in the Office of General Counsel. He is paid $12,500.00 per month to act as the in-house bully for the University of Kansas. His specialty is saying legal-sounding things to intimidate workers.

Wed 6/24/2020 5:55 PM
From: Leitch, Michael <>
To: Rose Welch
Cc: Rounds, Mike <>; Thornton, Julie A. <>

Rose Welch


Dear Ms. Welch:

Mr. Leitch,

Please find our response to your hostile and harassing email.

Your June 23 email…

These emails were sent between June 22nd and 24th, as a matter of fact.

“…to Chairs and Deans has been referred to my office for response.”

By whom?

“Those emails purport to speak for every individual GTA…”

These emails speak for Graduate Teaching Assistants at the University of Kansas, as ordered by the Public Employee Relations Board on April 27th, 1995 in 75-UC-1-1992-C. As you know, GTAC is a labor union comprised entirely of GTAs who democratically elect specific Graduate Teaching Assistants to represent GTAs both as a whole and individual GTAs, per their Weingarten-like rights.

You are well aware that GTAC is the sole and exclusive agent for GTAs at our University, and that the officers of our union have not only the right, but a duty, to represent our collective interests to people like you. Your continued attempts to discourage worker participation in our union and to interfere with our rights as a union of workers are blatantly illegal.

“…as to that person’s preference for teaching, and demands that the default setting for GTAs be shown as teaching online absent indication to the contrary.”

You seem to be saying that we told department chairs that we knew the individual preferences of 1,100 workers. We made no such claim. In our email, we instructed departments to list all GTAs as online (WW) by default with the individual option to choose to teach a hybrid (HC/HO) or in-person (P) course. Many department chairs positively replied to our email, and none of them misunderstood what we said. This tells us that our email was clear, but you are yet again purposely and maliciously misinterpreting something that is very straightforward, which in no way benefits the mission of our University.

Ultimately, Provost Bichelmeyer called a stop to the attack on the legal rights of GTAC workers and the inherent human rights of all instructors at our University, which was the right thing to do. Watching Provost Bichelmeyer conduct “business as usual” as advised by long-term administrators like you was incredibly disappointing. But watching her pivot towards justice gives us hope for a future in which KU administrators decide to partner with faculty and adjunct workers, staff and support workers, and graduate workers to truly create the University we all deserve.

The first step is to talk to us as though we’re human beings. The second step is to learn, understand, and continually practice seeking and respecting meaningful consent in all interactions.

“The email also makes certain statements about curriculum design and purports to “prioritize” the recipients’ needs.”

No, it does not. We promised to prioritize the needs of departments as we move forward in our contract negotiations. We have made this promise because we deeply care about our students, own own education, the departments in which we teach and learn, and about the state and future of the academy. Despite the fact that GTAC’s mandate is solely for GTAs, we have always taken the extra time and effort to stand for all students and workers at our University of Kansas.

This is why we demanded a raise for faculty and support workers when we found out they hadn’t received a raise in a decade, because they are not unionized like we are. We stood in solidarity with faculty and staff workers and these workers received a 2.5% raise.

This is why we demanded healthcare for all students when KU threatened to use a loophole in ACA to take it away. We stood in solidarity with all students, and (most of us) we have healthcare today during a pandemic.

This is why we demanded changes in the Trump Tax Bill that would have hurt graduate workers all over the US by taxing tuition waivers as cash income. We stood in solidarity with graduate workers all over the US and these provisions were defeated.

This is why we stood with faculty to demand that KU respect our rights as workers and our inherent human rights in choosing our own level of risk for our own bodies. We stood in solidarity, and our rights were respected.

This is why we stood with International workers and students to fight your xenophobic, undemocratic, and unethical hike in International student fees. We stood in solidarity with International workers and students, and this fee hike was rescinded.

This is why we are standing now to demand that you rescind the termination orders for all GTAs who have been stranded in other countries and immediately cease all attempts to intimidate, coerce, harass, and discourage GTAC workers from fully exercising our legal rights, our human rights, and our right to fully participate in our union without retaliation or bullying from KU administrators like you.

“As is the case with many of your communications to the University, these emails misrepresent the MOA, overstep GTAC’s authority, and ignore the interests of students and GTAC’s own members.”

As with many of the things you say, this is completely false. But let’s continue to go lie by lie – we mean, line by line.

“First, they misrepresent the MOA, claiming that GTAs may not be asked to create curriculum but providing no reference or citation.”

In fact, we did provide a specific citation to our employment contract as a courtesy to department chairs. However, we would like to take a moment to note that such a courtesy is not an obligation. You have made this argument before – that unless we hold your hand through every step, our filings and communications are not valid. But every single month, you take $12,500 of the funds we generate by teaching undergraduate students – so we think you should try to earn some small part of that by doing your own homework.

In our email to chairs, we said: “Per Article 8, Section 1 of our negotiated union contract, all curriculum and other instructional materials must be provided in its entirety and free of charge to all graduate teachers by their units/departments. We look forward to reviewing this curriculum when we begin work on August 18th, 2020.” As you can see, this is a clear and explicit citation.

“The MOA contains no such prohibition.”

As we stated in our email to chairs, our Memorandum of Agreement does in fact address the matter of instructional materials. Specifically, Article 8, Section 1 of our Memorandum of Agreement (entitled “Instructional Materials”) specifies that: “Any instructional materials required by the unit for a course taught by a GTA will be provided or made available free of charge to the GTA.”

“In fact, the MOA at Article 5, Section 3 specifically contemplates that GTAs will engage in “reasonable normal course preparation activities” and Section 7 states that “GTAs shall perform duties in accordance with the instructions of supervisors, departments, and/or schools and in adherence to University and Board of Regents policies.”

You seem to be implying that there are no limits on the instructions that may be given by KU administrators to GTAC workers. In fact, there are limits on those instructions, and any agent of our University who has instructed any GTA to create instructional materials during this period would be in violation of our Memorandum of Agreement, as well as state and federal law, in multiple ways:

1. Such instructions would be implicitly outside of the legal scope of duties for GTAC workers.
GTAC workers have a specific scope of work that is described in our Memorandum of Agreement. This creates a narrow allowance of duties which a GTAC worker may be instructed to perform and a wide scope of duties which a GTAC worker cannot be instructed to perform. Specifically, the scope of work for GTAC workers is limited to “direct involvement in classroom or laboratory instruction.” Examples are given, including:

  • Meeting with supervisors
  • Maintaining office hours
  • Using approved texts, course outlines, syllabi, and other instructional materials as approved and provided by the department
  • Administering tests or other graded activities in accordance with instructions
  • Grading class materials
  • Submitting grades

Instructional materials are integral to the duties of GTAC workers, so it is difficult to imagine that the people who wrote and agreed to these provisions – who are themselves Graduate Teaching Assistants – would have simply forgotten to list them. In addition, the examples themselves clearly imply that instructional materials will be provided. Finally, we do not have to imagine the intent of the writers and signatories because we are both. You are not. Thus, we can personally assure you that creation of instructional materials is implicitly outside our scope of work.

2. Such instructions would be explicitly in violation of our Memorandum of Agreement.
Article 8, Section 1 of our Memorandum of Agreement specifies that: “Any instructional materials required by the unit for a course taught by a GTA will be provided or made available free of charge to the GTA.” The University is explicitly responsible for providing these materials, and such an obligation cannot be fulfilled by “instructing” GTAC workers to do your work for you.

3. Such instructions would violate state and federal law.
As acknowledged in Section 16 of our Memorandum of Agreement, no contract provision may contravene either state or federal law. Under the terms of our Memorandum of Agreement, GTAC workers are not required to begin work for the Fall 2020 semester until August 18th, 2020. Requiring work without pay is wage theft. Wage theft is illegal under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Kansas State Statute 44-120, which both provides that all hours suffered or permitted to work must be paid by the employer.

4. Such instructions would not be reasonable.
The inclusion of the word “reasonable” intentionally places a limit on the discretionary power of “supervisors, departments, and/or schools”. Specifically, GTAs cannot be “instructed” to perform any duties which are unreasonable within their scope of work. We agree that when KU administrators engage in wage theft, they are following standard KU policies. We also understand that KU administrators have made such a long-standing practice of wage theft that it may actually seem reasonable to you. However, such policies and actions are blatantly illegal under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Kansas State Statute 44-1202, which both provides that all hours suffered or permitted to work must be paid by the employer. To wit, no condition which is illegal can be reasonable, thereby agents of the University cannot require GTAC workers to create instructional materials over the summer, even if no other obstacles existed.

“Finally, Article 8, Section 1 notes that some GTAs will be “responsible for designing their own courses.” Your claim about curriculum is not reflected in the MOA.”

Yes, we specifically addressed Article 8, Section 1 in our email to chairs, so we are unsure why you’re referencing a section that we specifically addressed. This article of our Memorandum of Agreement in no way contradicts what we wrote in our email to chairs, which is as follows: “Outside of individual employment in course design… GTAs cannot be asked to create curriculum for their courses or departments. At most, individual GTAs acting as Instructors of Record may choose to create and/or modify curriculum as may benefit their personal education and/or career prospects; even then, such labor must be counted towards the weekly cap on hours per FTE. Per Article 8, Section 1 of our negotiated union contract, all curriculum and other instructional materials must be provided in its entirety and free of charge to all graduate teachers by their units/departments.”

Mr. Leitch, we’d like to share a story with you. During the Spring 2018 semester, teams from GTAC and the University of Kansas met to renegotiate the terms of our employment contract. The KU team was entirely comprised of over half a dozen administrators, with no faculty workers or undergraduate students to represent the interests of the actual stakeholders in our labor. As we worked together to review the many badly needed updates to our contract, we became aware that the administrators chosen to negotiate our contract had no idea what Graduate Teaching Assistants actually do.

The KU team genuinely believed that Graduate Teaching Assistants were working as graders, with the most senior GTAs assigned to lead discussion sections or supervise laboratory sections. They were flabbergasted when we explained that many GTAs work as Instructors of Record. When they insisted that GTAs teaching their own courses must be an anomaly existing only in single digits, we polled the room. Out of the six GTAs who comprised the GTAC negotiations team and half a dozen observers, only one GTA present was not an Instructor of Record.

Your position rests upon the idea that members of the KU team were well-versed in our work and intended GTAs to create their own curriculum. This is wildly untrue. Therefore, our position stands:

1. GTAC workers are entitled to accept outside employment.
GTAC workers may choose to accept employment outside of their work as GTAs in any field they like, from waiting tables to creating instructional materials. This outside employment is not under the purview of our Memorandum of Agreement.

2. Like any other worker, GTAC workers may act to advance and benefit their careers.
Some GTAs working as Instructors of Record may choose to create and/or modify curriculum as may benefit their personal education and/or career prospects with such labor counted towards their weekly cap on hours per FTE. To be clear, directing a GTA to design course materials violates our Memorandum of Agreement. To the extent that Article 8, Section 1 “contemplates” GTAs designing their own courses, it does so in the context of GTAs choosing to design bespoke courses while “on the market” or while in the employ of other Universities. A GTA’s choice to offer a newly created course in no way abrogates our right to be provided sufficient instructional materials to complete our duties.

3. Workers cannot meaningfully consent to work for “free”.
KU administrators can neither ask nor allow GTAs or any other worker to “volunteer” unpaid labor because the Fair Labor Standards Act and Kansas State Statute 44-1202 both specify that all hours suffered or permitted to work must be paid. This is because the law recognizes that consent is impaired within a power differential, including the differential of power existing within a workplace. We highly recommend that you find and end all instances of wage theft within our University, and stand ready to fulfill any wage claims filed through our grievance procedure or through the Kansas Department of Labor.

“Your actions also overstep your authority. GTAC does not have the authority to speak for every individual GTA in the context of course assignment…”

This assertion – that GTAC cannot speak for GTAs in the context of course assignment – is obviously false. GTAC, as the recognized employee organization, and sole and exclusive agent for GTAs at our University, not only has the ability to represent the interests of GTAs in their working conditions, but the obligation to do so. Regardless, whether your assertion were true or false, it is irrelevant. GTAC did not and has not interfered with what courses are assigned to which workers. The conditions for that work have been challenged, which is our moral and legal obligation.

“…and we know from many GTAs that GTAC under your leadership is not representing them or their interests.”

We’ll be happy to hear you elucidate this point in an open hearing related to the charges we will be filing. As you know, you are prohibited by law from discouraging GTAC worker involvement in our union, from interfering in the administration of our union, from soliciting grievances from GTAC workers, from direct-dealing with GTAC workers, and from interfering with GTAC workers in the exercise of our union rights. Recent reports of harassment and interrogation by specific KU administrators, including yourself, will be challenged in court.

“To the extent that GTAC now seeks to meet and confer about the conditions of employment, it passed on that opportunity in April…”

GTAC has not “passed” on our “opportunity” to negotiate. GTAC and the University are currently engaged in negotiations. The temporary suspension of meetings is not only our standard practice, but is specifically written into our Memorandum of Agreement.

“…when it refused to attend the meet and confer sessions we scheduled at GTAC’s request.”

Again, we return to the concept of consent. GTAC proposed a meeting date, time, and location. Your HR department did not reply and thereby did not consent to our proposal. Thus, no meeting was scheduled. Later, your HR department proposed a meeting on the same date, at a different time and location. GTAC representatives were not available at that time and thereby did not consent to your proposal Thus, no meeting was scheduled. We do not “refuse” to meet any more than the University “refused” to meet when you failed to respond to our proposal.

“Rather, GTAC indicated it would prefer to wait to do so until the Fall…”

Yes, we did note that we were only a few days before the end of the Spring semester and we did offer to allow the University to remain focused on pandemic harm mitigation. Are you objecting to this kind offer intended to benefit our shared mission at the University of Kansas?

“…– for what it publicly described as “strategic reasons.”

Yes, we do engage in strategic planning. We’re unsure why you feel that’s a problem. Is it because you prefer we remain unorganized and vulnerable to exploitation? Because we believe that KU works better when we work together. It’s unfortunate that an administrator at your level actively seeks to prevent the harmonious cooperation which might otherwise be possible.

“Given GTAC’s refusal to meet…”

GTAC has not refused to meet any more than KU refused to meet. We were unable to schedule a mutually agreeable time and date to meet prior to the “summer months” outlined in Article 17 of our Memorandum of Agreement, largely because your administration was understandably occupied with the pandemic.

“…the University has moved forward consistent with the parties’ MOA, just as the agreement allows.”

The University has not “moved forward” because our contract doesn’t end until midway through Fall 2020. There is no “allowance” here, only a normal contract running through its planned duration.

“Teaching in person is not a change of GTAs’ duties. It is exactly the kind of instruction contemplated when the MOA was agreed in 2018.”

We are not “contemplating” a change in duties. Every GTA contracted to teach will teach, every GTA contracted to lead a discussion section will lead, and every GTA contracted to grade will be grading. Can you provide any examples of GTAC requesting a change in job duties for any worker?

Location of work and modes of instruction were both discussed during our 2018 contract negotiations with the shared understanding that such decisions were made between individual workers and their department chairs. However, in Spring 2020, GTAC President Neill Kennedy and Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer did agree that instruction would remain online due to the pandemic, and we do hold that this agreement is binding upon the University.

“Your email also makes reference to some procedure you claim to be negotiating with KU administration. We are aware of no such negotiation. Certainly there is no negotiation being conducted with Julie Thornton in HRM.”

Mr. Leitch, earlier in this email, you stated that we opened negotiations. Now you say that you are unaware of any negotiations. Which is it?

Regardless, we referenced negotiations because KU administrators are legally obligated to meet-and-confer with GTAC any time that you seek to change our working conditions. We assumed that KU administrators would request impact bargaining to update our Spring 2020 agreement for the Fall 2020 semester. It did not occur to us that KU administrators would risk another expensive lawsuit by denying the rights of our union, especially after Provost Bichelmeyer agreed to walk back her demand that GTAs return to in-person instruction.

“Finally, by continually going to seemingly every administrator at KU…”

“Administrator” is an interesting word choice. We communicated with department chairs, so your statement implies that you consider department chairs to be “administrators”. However, the definition provided by Kansas State Statute 75-4322 describes someone with the authority to hire and fire, to adjust and settle grievances, and to exercise such authority using their own independent judgment. KU administrators have consistently held that department chairs have no authority, cannot adjust or settle grievances, and cannot exercise authority using their own independent judgement. Are you restoring these powers to our department chairs? We would be glad to hear it.

“…other than the designated representative…”

Per Article 15, Section 6c of our Memorandum of Agreement, the designated representative for grievances is: “…the chair of the department in which the circumstances arose.” In the beginning of this email, you admitted that we contacted department chairs. We fail to see a problem here.

“…your actions violate Kansas labor law.”

Which one? Here’s a copy of Kansas labor law related to public workers. There is no part of this which could be construed to mean: “Union workers can’t talk to supervisors.”

Further, here is a copy of our Memorandum of Agreement. Per Article 15, Section 6c of our Memorandum of Agreement, we are required to communicate with department chairs. This is a requirement because we know that grievances are best resolved at the lowest possible level between workers and supervisors. We know that our ability to create a healthy work environment and foster a harmonious and cooperative relationship between GTAC workers and our University is predicated upon our ability to engage in mutual problem-solving using a written procedure based on best practices for conflict resolution in the workplace.

When KU administrators refrain from interfering in this process, our relations are very cooperative and harmonious. When KU administrators interfere, these interactions become very ugly, which detracts from our ability to fulfill our shared mission. Because of these kinds of interference, GTAC has been engaged in litigation with our University since 2018. We are now filing even more charges against you. How can you justify causing these expenses, Mr. Leitch?

“You are fully aware that Julie Thornton in HRM is the University’s designated representative for purposes of the MOA.”

No part of this sentence is true as written. But in the interests of understanding one another, we will review all related issues.

1. No references to a “designated representative” for KU exist within our Memorandum of Agreement.
Our Memorandum of Agreement refers to “representatives” of AFT-Kansas and/or GTAC, a “designated person” for Title IX violations, and there is a single reference to a “designated management representative” in relation to Article 13, Section 4. If you meant that Ms. Thornton is now your “designated person” for Title IX violations, please understand that we must still refer all complaints as described in our Memorandum of Agreement. If you meant that Ms. Thornton is now your “designated management representative”, we can assure you that we will appropriately direct to Ms. Thornton the written requests of any GTAC worker who wishes to review their own personnel file.

3. KU invalidated all provisions referencing the “Director of Human Resources Management.”
There are four provisions which specifically refer to the “Director for Human Resources Management”, which seems at least marginally related to a “designated representative”. The first three provisions pertain only to AFT-Kansas, and not to GTAC. The fourth provision allows a notification which may sometimes be from GTAC, but does not grant any rights or responsibilities. None of these provisions are related to your complaints. But we’ll review nonetheless.

When the last Director of Human Resources Management retired, Mr. Rounds decided to reorganize the department rather than to fill this position, as is his right. This caused a technical issue in our contract. Because GTAC sincerely desires to to maintain our responsibilities as outlined in our Memorandum of Agreement, we offered to interpret all references to the “Director of Human Resources Management” as references to a replacement person.

In a hostile, obstinate, and purposely insulting reply, the Vice Provost for Operations, Mr. Mike Rounds, chose to reject our generous offer. Instead, Mr. Rounds held that as no Director existed, no violation regarding the Director could exist.

Although we expressed concern that this violated the spirit of our agreement, we had to concede that Mr. Rounds was technically correct. We notified KU that we accepted Mr. Round’s interpretation of the matter and reminded KU that, in the absence of a Director or an agreement to interpret that phrase as a different job title, neither GTAC nor AFT-Kansas could comply with those four provisions.

If your claim regarding Ms. Thornton is in reference to any of those provisions, please note that GTAC remains open to resolving this technical issue and would be happy to restore these provisions in favor of Ms. Thornton. If you would like to discuss a side note on the matter, please contact us. As always, we remain ready and willing to build a cooperative and harmonious relationship with our University.

3. KU administrators have failed to certify Ms. Thornton as an agent of the University.
On March 6th, 2020, GTAC opened contract negotiations by sending a Letter of Intent to Mr. Mike Rounds, the Vice Provost of Operations. We received a reply from Ms. Julie Thornton. This was our first introduction to Ms. Thornton.

On March 10th, 2020, we asked Mr. Rounds to confirm Ms. Thornton as an agent of the University. Mr. Rounds did not respond to our request, nor did Ms. Thornton take steps to ensure that she became certified. On April 27th, 2020, we again requested certification for Ms. Thornton. This request was also ignored. Until your email on June 24th, 2020, we could not have been “fully aware” that Ms. Thornton was an agent of the University because you failed to certify her.

Because we had no reason to doubt that Ms. Thornton probably was the appropriate person to help coordinate negotiations meetings and such, we treated Ms. Thornton as though she had been certified while we awaited a reply from an existing agent of the University. Luckily, no matters requiring a certified agent occurred during this time. However, both good sense and our Memorandum of Agreement dictate that agents be certified for the protection of our respective organizations.

Moving forward, if you prefer that we conduct business with anyone who emails from a address claiming to be an agent of the University, we will do so. Please register this preference in writing. However, if you prefer that we continue to do business with certified agents, please ensure that you certify them.

Finally, if Ms. Thornton is your preferred representative, then why do you keep emailing us?

“GTAC’s evasion of the designated representative is unlawful…”

You have alleged so many unlawful actions on our part that we’re finding it impossible to keep track of them. For everyone’s convenience, please file a charge so that each claim has a case number and we can address your false allegations in an open hearing. For your convenience, we have included the fillable PDF you will need to file such a complaint.

“…as was your March 30 meeting with the Provost…”

How can a meeting be public workers and a public employer be unlawful?

“…which was arranged under false pretenses.”

Here are the “pretenses” under which we arranged a meeting. Care to point out a single falsehood?

“(See K.S.A. 74-4333(c)(2).)”

Chapter 74 provides oversight for various state board, commissions, and authorities, none of which involve the University of Kansas, the Kansas Board of Regents, or higher education in general. Article 43 concerns the Motor Vehicle Reciprocity Commission. Chapter 74, Article 43 ends at 05. Mr. Leitch, you’re not citing a real law.

“Given GTAC’s repeated unlawful conduct, we have directed each and every chair to ignore your email.”

Actually, you attempted to forbid department chairs from communication with us. We believe that this is a violation of their rights, in addition to a violation of state law and our Memorandum of Agreement. Luckily, department chairs have better sense than to follow your unlawful orders.

More importantly, you do not have the power to make up new rules when you feel upset. If you have reason to believe we have violated the law, you are bound to file a complaint. Again, this is the fillable PDF form you will need to file a charge against us. We invite you to do so in the hopes that this process will help resolve your issues and allow us to begin to build a harmonious and cooperative relationship.

“It should never have been sent to them.”

Again, our contract specifies that it must be sent to them, per Article 15, Section 6c of our Memorandum of Agreement.

“It should have been sent to Julie Thornton.”

Why? Is Ms. Thornton a department chair? Is Ms. Thornton a dean? Is Ms. Thornton a member of the Grievance Resolution Committee? No, she is none of these things.

While Ms. Thornton seems like a perfectly nice person, the fact of the matter is that we intentionally cut HR out of our conflict resolution process. Neither you nor Ms. Thornton have any part of it. Instead, our process incorporates best practices for conflict resolution and prioritizes keeping power in the hands of our department chairs, with higher level issues being reviewed and resolved by the actual stakeholders of our labor – faculty workers, undergraduate students, and Graduate Teaching Assistants – as chosen by democratically elected bodies.

“She is the University’s designated representative for purposes of meeting and conferring with GTAC.”

This is incorrect. As of June 24th, 2020, Ms. Thornton is the certified representative of the department of Human Resources Management for the purpose of requesting unit lists and other information per Article 4, Sections 1 and 3 of our Memorandum of Agreement. Again, if you would like Ms. Thornton to also take receipt of communications in place of the former Director of Human Resources Management, please contact us so that we may discuss a side note on the matter.

“Your continued refusal to recognize her in that role may result in the University filing a prohibited practice charge.”

Please take this opportunity to file a complaint, Mr. Leitch. Again, this is the fillable PDF form you will need to file a charge against us. We invite you to do so in the hopes that this process will help resolve your issues and allow us to begin to build a harmonious and cooperative relationship.

“It’s unfortunate that GTAC continues to ignore the proper channels of interaction with the University.”

This is a particularly shameless statement because you’ve acknowledged to our legal counsel that you are perfectly aware of the provisions of our Memorandum of Agreement regarding department chairs as the appropriate beginning for communication, but that you didn’t want to follow it because you didn’t like it. If you recall, we sued you over it. How can you justify racking up these endless legal expenses for our University?

“The University was prepared to meet and confer with GTAC and scheduled a meeting for that purpose in April. You declined to meet and confer at that time. If and when GTAC is prepared to meet and confer as the law provides, please contact Julie Thornton.”

GTAC has not “declined” to meet any more than KU “declined” to meet. Further, Ms. Thornton has already agreed to resume negotiations in the Fall 2020 semester, per Article 17 of our Memorandum of Agreementf.

In closing, everything about your email is absurd. Mr, Leitch you have a problem with GTAC, file a grievance or file a charge, but please refrain from sending hostile and harassing emails intended to intimidate GTAC workers and to discourage participation in our union.

To other KU administrators: We believe that KU works better when we work together. We sincerely want to establish harmonious and cooperative relations, and we stand ready to work together to fulfill our shared mission at the University of Kansas. We will not allow the harmful and hostile actions of some administrators to destroy our faith in and desire to create the University of Kansas that we all deserve. Although we will be filing suit against our University, we do so with the hope that we can use this process to help establish a future in which KU administrators decide to partner with faculty and adjunct workers, staff and support workers, and graduate workers to truly create the University we all deserve. Please contact us if you would like to begin establishing a positive relationship.


Rose M. Welch


Mike Leitch | Senior Associate
General Counsel
Office of the General Counsel | University of Kansas
245 Strong Hall, 1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, Kansas 66045                         
Office: 785.864.3276                      

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