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Faculty vote to decertify union, 190 to 185.

4/26/2013: That would be the TTF at Montana State, story here. Their NTTF union stays, and there is a new GTF union as well. The TTF decertification drive was led by grant funded faculty, who put up $10K or so of their own money for lawyers. Those leaders would likely would not be in the union here, by mutual agreement of Rudnick and the union organizers to exclude people who hired staff on grants.

At UO, the histrionics and bungling by the administration’s bargaining team, in contrast to the calm professionalism of Mauer, Cecil, and the faculty side has, in my opinion, strengthened the union considerably. Many TTF faculty were worried the union would be dominated by the NTTF’s. I don’t see that happening – the union’s proposals have been very balanced.

With a few exceptions the union skeptics I talk with are, if not quite ready to join up as card carrying members, appalled at the continued incompetence of the administration’s bargaining team, and Gottfredson’s disavowal of the raise proposals that President Lariviere had tried to implement. And, as admin bargaining team member and spokesperson Barbara Altmann recently said to a reporter:

“The president signs off on everything that the administration does, …”

So on top of everything else they’ve now blown the plausible deniability strategy: have Rudnick bargain tough, then Gottfredson comes in at the last moment as the great compromiser.

The UO Senate is not exactly a random sample of faculty, but they recently voted 30 to 3 to support the union’s position on nomenclature and shared governance. Meanwhile, the anti-union faculty group has not posted anything on their blog since Dec 18:

My own anti-union posts from last year are here and my more neutral but outdated Union FAQ is here. It’s now been 364 days since the union was certified. If the admin team would stop wasting billable hours – over $350,000 since certification – we could easily have a contract by June 15.

Faculty Union meta-FAQ

Updated 6/3/2012:  

For this post I will only accept comments that involve questions or answers!

This is a resource page with links to information about the UO Faculty Union. It’s meant to be an independent source of information for faculty about the union. Revised as appropriate, suggestions welcome in the comments. The union organizing committee has put up a FAQ here. UO Matters is posting this meta-FAQ as a public service, contributions to help cover expenses are accepted here. 

As of now:

 6/3/2012: We have a faculty union but no bylaws, constitution, membership, or elected leadership. The faculty organizers who won the petition process and the national representatives sent in from the AFT and AAUP are currently running the show. Their organizing committee will not allow people to attend their meetings unless they have demonstrated a commitment to the union.

How will constitution and bylaws be set, and leadership elections be run?

United academics has announced plans for committees to establish bylaws and a constitution, organize a membership drive, plan elections for union local leadership, and begin work on a CBA, but no details on how membership of these committees will be determined are available.

The PSU union seems like a likely model for how the UO union will eventually work. They have an executive council that meets weekly. The council is elected by the membership. Membership is not automatic. Everyone covered by the contract must pay union dues, but they must join the union to vote – explanation here.

See Dues for more on this. People can apparently opt out of the part of union dues that go to lobby for political causes they object to, but not the union’s regular expenses.

The recently established Montana State University union has interesting bylaws clause:

 Separate officers represent tenure track faculty and non tenure track faculty and are elected by members.


Obviously the AAUP / AFT organizers will now want the UO union to pay some dues to their national organizations. The union FAQ says:

Dues normally start after the first contract is negotiated. The exact amount would be decided by a majority vote of union members, but a dues amount equal to about 1-2% of salary is typical. Most AFT/AAUP campuses have dues around 1-2% of gross monthly pay. 

But we can negotiate a much lower rate. The PSU union seems to have fought the nationals pretty hard on this point. Their bylaws call for dues to be approved by a vote of the membership. See the PSU Summer 2011 newsletter (page 13 and 14) for a long discussion of turmoil within the AAUP and their disputes with the AAUP over how much the PSU union should pay to the National AAUP. The upshot? At PSU

“Regular Dues for members hired into a bargaining unit position on or after October 1, 2010 are .75%.”

Montana State University dues are 0.8% of salary. Only faculty who voluntarily join the union are represented or pay dues.

Union dues are tax deductible as employee expenses if you itemize. (Subject to the 2% hurdle.) IRS pub. 529.

Do faculty who don’t join the union have to pay dues? Obviously there would be a massive free-riding problem if not. But apparently Oregon law does not require this – instead it will be a negotiating point in the CBA. From the Union FAQ:

The union must by law negotiate for all faculty in the bargaining unit. All faculty benefit from union-negotiated wages and union grievance procedures, including arbitration of grievances by an independent, neutral party. Although only those faculty members who choose to join the union will pay full dues, many faculty contracts include a “fair share” provision, sometimes called an “agency fee.” This means that everyone who is covered by the contract has the choice of either joining the union as a full member or paying a fee to cover the expenses incurred by the union, since the union represents everyone in the unit. The “fair share provision” is based on the premise that everyone who benefits from a contract should share the cost of negotiating and administering it, just as all citizens share the taxes for government services. A fair share provision must be agreed to by both the administration and the union.

UO local union relationships with national unions:

I believe the petition for certification comes from the AAUP and AFT and so if a union is certified it will be affiliated with those organizations. This does not mean it will be permanent. Local unions often have troubled relationships with their national organizations. The AAUP apparently has many issues, related to a struggle between those who see it as a professional association and this who see it as a union. This Chronicle story from 2011 reports on some of the infighting:

 Cary Nelson, president of the AAUP, said he expected some heated discussion about the personnel move. One outcome was that the association’s union arm passed a resolution that, among other things, condemned the AAUP’s decision not to reappoint Mr. Rhoades.

See the PSU Summer 2011 newsletter (page 13 and 14) for a long discussion of the turmoil within the AAUP and PSU disputes with the AAUP over how much the PSU union should pay to the national AAUP. 

This story reports that the SUNY faculty union has similar disputes with the AAUP, and actually voted to leave the organization:

 The resolution pushing for disaffiliation set out a number of criticisms of the AAUP, saying that it had “not addressed the concerns of our professionals,” had “failed to coordinate government relations” efforts, had failed to always recognize UUP’s status in collective bargaining at SUNY, had been too slow to fix communications and elections problems, and had provided “no return” on UUP funds sent to the AAUP.




Shared governance, unions and university senates:

Bargaining agreements: 


    History and Misc:

    Unions gone bad – cautionary tales:

    • Collective bargaining for turkies