4/7/2012: I’m no law professor, or
$600 an hour union busting lawyer $600 an hour defender of faculty members’ right to negotiate individually with the administration, but it seems obvious that a key point in the formation of a UO faculty union is the definition of the term faculty. On 3/20 the UO union organizers petitioned the state ERB for a bargaining unit defined as:
“All full-time and part-time research and instructional faculty. Including tenure-track faculty, non-tenure track faculty, adjunct faculty, post-retired or emeritus faculty, library faculty and officers of research including research assistants, research associates, and postdoctoral scholars, employed by theemployer and excluding Principal Investigators with supervisory authority and faculty in the School of Law.”
And the commentator Terducken notes that:
According to Oregon Administrative Rules 115-025-0065, “Within 7 days after a public employer receives notice under OAR 115-025-0030(2) that a petition has been filed seeking certification without an election, it will submit to the Board an alphabetical list of employees in the proposed bargaining unit…” Therefore, this Excelsior list is a list provided to the ERB by the administration and is a standard step in this process.
But the Excelsior list that the UO administration provided in response to this petition includes many employees that are clearly not “faculty” in the ordinary sense of the word, but who are on the UO books as faculty. Der Alte has posted a helpful comment on this:
Current UO Constitution defines a STATUTORY FACULTY. “In this document, Statutory Faculty is defined as the body of professors consisting of the University President, tenure-related officers of instruction, career non-tenure-track officers of instruction, and officers of administration who are tenured in an academic department. Membership in the Statutory Faculty is retained during sabbatical leaves. Retired and emeriti faculty members are not members of the Statutory Faculty, whether or not they have teaching responsibilities. The University President is the President of the Statutory Faculty.”
With no disrespect, I do not think that people without an advanced degree, perhaps working in a lab or teaching PE courses in ultimate frisbee, aerobics, or yoga, count as faculty under any reasonable or customary definition of the word. Yet it seems that UO’s administration and their consulting lawyers have agreed with the union organizers that they do. They’ve also included emeriti, etc. in their list. The Rudnick letter to the ERB raises many objections, but none having to do with this basic question of what does it mean to be faculty – a question central to the union petition.
So, there is a game being played here between the administration and the union that most of us faculty do not understand and which I don’t think either side wants us to understand. But I bet some of our readers know what’s really going on. So why not tell us? It’s anonymous.