Resources

A group of tenured faculty sent this letter to BMS arguing that they do not share a community of interest with non-tenure-track faculty.

roe-letter

This is the unit determination decision from the State Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 regarding contingent faculty positions.

bms-unit-determination

The Executive Committee of the Minnesota conference of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) sent this letter to faculty in March of 2016:

AAUP-MN-Conference

David McDermott Hughes, President of the Rutgers University AAUP-AFT, sent this letter to U of M faculty in February of 2016:

Rutgers-AAUP

The MN Academics faculty organizing committee sent this letter to BMS Commissioner Josh Tilsen seeking clarification of the status quo order to include merit raises, which the U of M central administration agreed to in writing in early May.

Status-Quo-Order

The Right to Organize a Union

Minn. Stat. § 179A.06, subd. 2: “Public employees have the right to form and join labor or employee organizations…”

Examples of Exercising the Right to Organize a Union

  • Signing and Collecting Union Authorization Cards
  • Participating in a Union Organizing Committee
  • Wearing and Distributing Union Buttons and Insignia
  • Distributing Union Literature
  • Attending Union Meetings and Rallies
  • Discussing Unionization with Co-Workers and Colleagues
  • Accessing Employer Facilities for Organizing Purposes
  • Advocating for Unionization on Social Media
  • Soliciting Organizing Support from Students and Other Allies

 

The Right to Express Views

Minn. Stat. § 179A.06, subd. 1: “Sections 179A.01 to 179A.25 do not affect the right of any public employee or the employee’s representative to express or communicate a view, grievance, complaint, or opinion on any matter related to the conditions or compensation of public employment or their betterment, so long as this is not designed to and does not interfere with the full faithful and proper performance of the duties of employment or circumvent the rights of the exclusive representative.”

Examples of Exercising the Right to Express Views

  • Freedom of Speech
  • Freedom of Assembly
  • Freedom of Association
  • Freedom to Petition the Government
  • The Right to Oppose Discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, familial status, disability, sexual orientation, or age

 

The Right to Meet with the Employer to Discuss Grievances

Minn. Stat. § 179A.06, subd. 1: “If no exclusive representative has been certified, any public employee individually, or group of employees through their representative, has the right to express or communicate a view, grievance, complaint, or opinion on any matter related to the conditions or compensation of public employment or their betterment, by meeting with their public employer or the employer’s representative, so long as this is not designed to and does not interfere with the full, faithful, and proper performance of the duties of employment.”

Parameters of the Right to Discuss Grievances

  • A grievance is broadly defined as “some complaint related to terms or conditions of employment.” Ekstedt v. Village of New Hope, 193 N.W.2d 821, 827 (Minn. 1972).
  • This right to discuss grievances does not include actions outside of meetings with the
    employer to address terms and conditions of employment. Such actions outside of meetings with the employer are protected if they involve Union organizing activity, which is protected by the right to organize under PELRA.
  • Unrepresented employees do not have the right to engage in work stoppages. 

Remedies

Unfair Labor Practice Lawsuits

Employees may bring an action in state district court for injunctive relief and for damages caused by any of the following employer unfair labor practices:

  • Interfering, restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of PELRA rights, including the right to organize a union
  • Discriminating in hiring or firing decisions in order to discourage union membership
  • Discharging, disciplining, or discriminating against an employee because the employee has signed an authorization card 
  • Distributing or circulating a blacklist of individuals who have exercised PELRA rights in or participated in representation proceedings order to prevent them from retaining or obtaining employment 
  • Violating PELRA election rules 

Watch out for Employer “TIPS” 

  • Threats
  • Interrogation
  • Promises of Benefits
  • Surveillance 

Download PDF: 

Public Employee Organizing Rights Handout.pdf

On Thursday, November 12, research faculty released this report on the state of research funding and support at the University of Minnesota. It includes the findings of a survey conducted over the summer and completed by over 300 faculty, post-doctorate associates, research assistants, and other academic researchers at the University.

 Research-Survey-Report

The Fall 2014 issue of The Minnesota Academe features an article by U of M Associate Professor Jason McGrath, Organizing a Faculty Union at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and an article by Hamline University Adjunct Faculty member and SEIU Local 284 leader David Weiss, Hamline Adjuncts Unionize.

Fall-2014-AAUP-Newsletter

The AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom, Volume Two, from 2011 features the following article, Campus Clout, Statewide Strength: Improving Shared Governance through Unionization, by Bill Lyne, a Professor at Western Washington University and President of the United Faculty of Washington State.

Bill-Lyne-article