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card check

1/14/2012: They started collecting these Monday, unsubstantiated rumor is that 1/3 of faculty those in the organizer defined bargaining unit have already signed union cards. Union website here, facebook here. Not a lot of info on either. Apparently they will attempt to certify a bargaining unit that will include TT faculty, NTTF faculty and ORs.

I think a union is pretty much a done deal given the disarray, incompetence, and greed we’ve seen from OUS and Johnson Hall over the past few years. You really think tuition money should go to help Jim Bean make his beamer payments? Lorraine Davis’s family Rose Bowl trip? Pernsteiner’s maid?

The people who oppose a union should start reading up on union politics and law to figure out how to work from within to deal with their legitimate concerns about academic unions.

We’ve posted lots of information on the union effort over the years. Here’s an old email from Jim Bean warning faculty not to get duped by the card check. Our survey of the TT faculty in fall 2009 found 2/3 against the union. Times have changed. The union brought in lawyer and accountant Howard Bunsis from EMU last February, he did this excellent analysis of UO’s finances. Here’s an economics paper arguing unions raise salaries at public universities. Here’s a post on Johnson Hall’s hilarious failed efforts to secretly hire a firm to advise them on how to fight unionization – $300 an hour. Here’s UO’s HR website on unionization (very dated).


  1. Anonymous 01/14/2012

    Word is also that there is a second union organizing the faculty : Independent Academics of Oregon are also dropping cards for a Union that would be unaffiliated with AAUP and AFT.

  2. Anonymous 01/14/2012

    So what will a union get us exactly?? 2 percent of our pay will go to dues… and will this fix what’s wrong at the administrative level?

  3. Anonymous 01/14/2012

    (S)he who wishes to “fix what’s wrong at the administrative level” is invited to frame legislation that will direct the needed changes and bring it as a Motion to the UO Senate. Faculty governance requires faculty participation, and your UO Constitution provides the lever for effecting needed changes. Yours truly, Guess Who

  4. Anonymous 01/15/2012

    Since Oregon is not a right to work state, those of us who are opposed will be forced to join, now that’s freedom for you. I perceive the dues as another form of taxation with probably the same level of benefit–minimal.

    I have been looking for a new job out of this state and if this thing passes it is another motivating factor.

  5. Anonymous 01/15/2012

    Add Bob Berdahl’s resistance to shared faculty governance to your list of reasons to sign the card. If Berdahl is not willing to share a little power after we got him the job, imagine what Pernsteiner’s pick is going to be like.

  6. Anonymous 01/15/2012

    What resistance to shared governance? Berdahl said that it works best when the best faculty participate. That sounded like an endorsement to me. And like Anonymous #2, I wonder what the *union* is going to do about fixing admin problems.

  7. Anonymous 01/15/2012

    Bob Berdahl has examined and thoroughly approved of the newly adopted UO Constitution, which maximizes Faculty involvement in university governance. Old Man urges his young colleagues to pull up there socks and get involved in exercising the governance responsibilities conferred upon them by the University Charter.

  8. Anonymous 01/15/2012

    “2 percent of our pay will go to dues”. In actuality, United Academics of Oregon projects dues would be about 1% (if you believe them), while the competing Union, the Independent Academics of Oregon guarantees dues would be no more than 0.5% of salary.

  9. Anonymous 01/15/2012

    The union will be just another crappy level of bureaucracy. The same the OUS caters to the mediocrity, the union will probably encourage things like “fairness” among the faculty, also guaranteeing mediocrity. Why don’t we just actively participate in the senate, instead of paying 2 percent of what we earn to have some boneheads “represent” what we want?

  10. UO Matters 01/15/2012

    Jim Bean said he’d resign if the faculty goes union. Tempting. Very tempting.

  11. Anonymous 01/15/2012

    Resign from what? Scanning the literature?

  12. Anonymous 01/15/2012

    Union including the TT faculty? There goes the university. I wouldn’t give a dime to the endowment or anything else after that. I see nothing, absolutely nothing for the TT faculty after a union takes over. What good has the union done PSU? And there goes shared governance forever!

  13. Anonymous 01/15/2012

    Here is the $500,000,000 gorilla in the room (Jacqua center) if we like or not. How do Phil Knight and our other big donors feel about unions. If they are going to cut us off, where does that leave us?? Can we work through the senate to cut the corruption/golden parachute philosophy that seems to have grabbed a hold of our administrators? If so, why do we need a union?

  14. Anonymous 01/16/2012

    The Old Man is REALLY not an economist, but he thinks he has some insight on the Golden Parachute problem. Federal law prohibits enforced retirement on the basis of age. If a university wants of get rid of old baggage, they have only two legal routes: (1) prove gross incompetence or dishonesty or (2) buy the clown off. The first is difficult and rather expensive; the second is as expensive as the “retiree” is crafty. I think the Senate should invite the Provost to explain the Golden Parachute phenomenon. If the Senate understands the problem, it might be able to craft a solution, which could then be made into legislation.

  15. Anonymous 01/18/2012

    Here’s another important question. How do we unionize when the TTF, NTTF, and OR have different needs/incentives which sometimes are in conflict. How do we decide voting power within the union? It’s now like the fricking newsies, the mechanics here are critical and complicated.

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