It has been a little while since our last update — here are the most recent developments regarding our union election:
Earlier this month, the Commissioner of the MN Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) ruled that contingent instructors like Teaching Specialists and Lecturers have never been officially placed in a bargaining unit for purposes of a union election — the U’s administrative classifications do not govern in this context.
The university is appealing this decision to a State Court of Appeals and seeking a stay of the pre-election hearings that determine which employees should be classified in the Instructional bargaining unit. We will not know what that means for our election timeline until the court responds. More to come soon on this development.
It will be up to the Commissioner of BMS to assign these positions to the proper bargaining unit based on their “Community of Interest” in a hearing that is scheduled to be held over several days starting in late April, pending the University’s appeal. We will continue to assert that these positions are clearly instructional in nature, and belong in the Instructional unit. Teaching Specialists and Lecturers teach many of the same classes, participate in faculty governance, and engage in service and research. If you have not done so already, we ask that contingent faculty please fill out this survey so that we can understand your positions as well as possible.
While we strongly hoped to hold our union election before the end of this semester, that will no longer be possible given the delays and extensions to the process requested by the U’s central administration, and we anticipate that our election will be held during the Fall semester.
Meanwhile, here is what we have been up to in the last month:
We held an informational meeting with UMD faculty union leaders about what their union has meant for them.
The MN conference of the AAUP wrote this letter in support of our effort to form a faculty union.
Senior Teaching Specialist Mary Pogatshnik wrote this Letter to the Editor in the Daily about how contingent and tenure-line faculty have a common stake in our University.
Contact an Organizing Committee member or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments about our election timeline and process, or to get involved in our effort!
Teri L. Caraway
Eva von Dassow