Updated 3/18/2012: The union organizers tell me they are reluctant to release this information for fear the administration will use it against them, but they tell me they are aware of people’s concern’s and are thinking about how to address them. One informed TTF writes in the comments:
… let me be clear that even though I am union supporter, I am not representing any official union position.
Everything is in flux right now – the cards have been submitted, the ERB has notified the administration, the administration will post that notification, the administration will then have two weeks to respond. A small delegation from the organizing committee was supposed to meet with the President last week to discuss where things were going, and to begin to feel out whether we could cooperate. That meeting was cancelled, with no reason given. That was too bad, but certainly well within the administration’s rights. It’s also understandable – probably they need some time to get a handle on what is happening, and figure out the best course to pursue, before they meet with us or make an official challenge. So we accept that the administration is being a little cagey; to my way of thinking, the union would have to be out of its collective mind to behave any differently. I may agree that the union should release a more detailed breakdown of the vote, and I might make that argument at an organizing committee meeting. But I certainly don’t think those numbers should be released right now, for the reasons I cited above.
FWIW, my read is that no one in the administration really cares if there is a faculty union so long as they can continue to use tuition money to pay for their beamers, football game junkets, and golden parachutes. My guess is they don’t put up much of a fight. I also don’t buy the argument this will make it harder for us to hire a good president. First, we’ve seen the folly of relying on charismatic leadership. We are on our own. Second, my definition of a good president is one who wants to cooperate with the faculty and help us achieve our goals. If such a person exists I don’t think a faculty union will scare them off.
3/17/2012: The complete report is here from an email survey done by two UO professors, of the entire pop of UO tenure track faculty (including law?). They have a 50% response rate, with 18% supporting a union. The union organizing committee is reporting that more than 50% of TTF’s signed cards supporting the union.
While the complete survey report lists some caveats, the results are hard to reconcile with what the union reports. The state ERB has told me that they will not break out votes by TTF, etc:
The petition itself will be available to the public on our website. The petition will probably give an estimated number of employees covered by the petition. When the showing of interest is checked, the only information I would release is the percentage of those signing, no other information. We are a small agency and would not have adequate staffing to go beyond that. The petitioner might release more detailed information.
I think the union organizers should release information on the percentage of TTF’s, NTTF’s and OR’s, cross tabbed by >= 0.5 FTE and < 0.5 FTE, that signed cards. By college would also be interesting.
There’s plenty of support out there for the union, but also plenty of opposition and suspicion. The union needs to address those concerns head on if they want to broaden their support. Fortunately there’s an easy rule for gaining trust: look at how Randy Geller and Johnson Hall behave, and then do the opposite.