Everything You Need to Know About House Calls

Summer is here, and our campaign is in full swing! Our goal is to talk with each and every staff member in the Academic, Student, and Instructional Services Job families this summer before moving into our fall membership drive. These one-to-one conversations give staff a chance to tell their stories, and help organizers learn more about the experiences staff have in our workplace. USU organizers will be visiting homes, offices, and reaching out to individual staff via email and social media. Below are some FAQs about house calls.

Why do we do house calls?

House calls are a long-standing tradition in labor organizing. Many people are hesitant to talk about their workplace in the office where there is limited privacy. Emails often go unanswered or to spam. House visits allow staff to talk in a comfortable place on their own terms, without supervisors overhearing, or worrying about being on the clock. USU organizers are your colleagues. We are also staff at U-M, and we want to hear what you have to say so that we can take action.

Who are USU organizers?

Organizers are U-M staff volunteers from all 3 campuses. We are doing this work because the wellbeing and advancement of ALL staff is important to us. We want to preserve what we like about our workplaces, and organize to make change where it’s needed.

How do we gather address data?

USU organizers use publicly available white pages data to look up home addresses. We will do our best to find your house, apartment, or condo with this information. For the most part, these matches are accurate. Occasionally, we’ll have incorrect addresses or people. We will do our best to follow up with you via email.

Are USU organizers engaging in soliciting?

We are your colleagues and coworkers. Our goal is to share information about your union, your workplace rights, and to give you space to share or ask questions. We are not selling anything, or trying to talk you into anything. You can share your thoughts on our union effort, unions in general, and/or what you like about your work and what changes you’d like to see. This is also a good opportunity for you to learn about getting involved.

What if it’s not a good time to talk?

We hope you will take some time to chat with your colleagues, but we recognize that life is busy and hectic. We welcome you into a conversation so that we can learn more about what issues are important to staff. If it’s not a good time, we will leave our contact information and can follow up by email. If you would prefer to talk on Zoom, we are happy to set up a meeting at a time that works for you. If we visit, and you aren’t home, we’ll leave a slip indicating that we visited, and how you can get in touch.

Want to schedule a one to one conversation at home or on Zoom? Email us at

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