University Spending Further Taxpayer Time & Money to Appeal Clear Ruling by State Agency, Delaying Union Election Process
MINNEAPOLIS – Today faculty expressed their dismay at the decision by the University of Minnesota’s central administration to once again appeal a clear decision by the State Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) in the State Court of Appeals to delay a faculty union election.
“We are disappointed but unfortunately not surprised by the University’s decision to spend further time and money to obstruct a union election,” said Jason Stahl, a Lecturer in the Department of Organizational Leadership and Policy Development. “We are forming a union so we can gain a stronger voice in University governance, and this is a perfect example of why,” continued Stahl. “Rather than respond to the voice and needs of both tenure-track and contingent faculty, the University’s central administration is doing everything in their power and to keep us divided.”
“Ultimately, none of these delays change our vision for the union we are building to strengthen the voice of faculty on our campus for ourselves and for our students, said Mary Pogatshnik, a Senior Teaching Specialist in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. “The University can delay the timeline, and we will continue building our union. We are confident that we will win our vote in the end,” continued Pogatshnik.
Late last month, BMS affirmed the unified bargaining unit requested by tenure-track and contingent faculty for their union election in unequivocal language: “there is no evidence showing a community of interest [for Lecturers and Teaching Specialists] with Unit 11 [Professional & Administrative] and strong evidence demonstrating significant community of interest with other undisputed Unit 8 [Twin Cities Instructional] classifications. For this reason, those incumbents in the Classifications in Question, located on the Twin Cities Campus of the University, Unit 8 is the appropriate unit assignment.”
The University’s appeal of an earlier decision by BMS in March to the State Court of Appeals was denied. Faculty at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus filed for a union election to join SEIU Local 284 on Wednesday, January 20th. The union would include approximately 2,500 tenure-line and contingent faculty at the U of M – Twin Cities campus, and would be one of the largest single-campus faculty unions in the country.
MN Academics United is an affiliate of SEIU Local 284. Faculty at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus are coming together to form a union for a stronger voice in shaping our University’s direction and priorities, our working conditions, and the future of higher education in Minnesota.