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Are names of card check signers public records?

Update: response from ERB:

No, the names of those signing the cards are not public record. See OAR 115-025-0020.

Sandra Elliott, ERB

3/11/2012: I’ve got in a request to the ERB, but if you have info please post a comment. Important to understand how law professors or TTF in general might try to opt out of bargaining unit.

For the record, here are the results from my survey of TT faculty, done in Feb. 2010: Of 681 faculty surveyed 221 made some response. Out of 218 responses:

and out of 170 responses, multiple categories OK:


  1. Anonymous 03/12/2012

    If the various recent rumors are true (1- the card check is likely to pass, 2- the fraction of tenure track faculty (TTF) support is far less than 50%, and 3- tenure track faculty are likely to challenge being in the union), it seems like an important time for the union organizers and other interested people to offer some concrete scenarios for what the union might do, and how the particular concerns of TTFs might be addressed. I’ve read the statements on the AU web site ( The more general motivations, pointing to the administration’s disregard for the faculty and for our educational mission, are good. The specifics are very vague, however.

    In the FAQ, for example, it’s simply written that “A negotiated contract will necessarily include and address different people’s situations and priorities.” Many TTFs, including me, are rather skeptical that union organizers appreciate, for example, the awkwardness that will ensue from having faculty who employ postdoctoral researchers and faculty who don’t being in and out of the faculty union, respectively. (Over time, the same professor can be in both of these categories!) Do the union organizers understand the difference in structure between science and non-science departments? What might a negotiated contract look like?

    Of course, a response to this would be that I shouldn’t expect an answer now, when things are gestating, but that TTFs like me should actively participate in drawing up a future contract. This is a fair reply. However, since 1-2% of my salary is going to be taken from me, I feel like it should be incumbent on the union to offer clear possible scenarios.

    — Puzzled Duck

  2. Anonymous 03/12/2012

    An addendum: my comment above ended more gloomily than I intended. I think that if it were more clear how a negotiated contract could be sensibly constructed, TTF support for the union would be much higher than it is, and the goals we all share would be easier to make happen.
    — Puzzled Duck

    • Anonymous 03/12/2012

      Puzzled Dog to Puzzled Duck

      Well said. I agree, that, in practice the “research” mission of the TTF has been undervalued or dismissed by the union organizers and that the hiring
      of temporary employees (i.e. postdocs) that are automatically in the union
      does not make sense.

  3. Anonymous 03/12/2012

    Dog queries

    If the names are not public record is the actual number of signed cards
    public record?

  4. UO Matters 03/12/2012

    From a helpful person at the ERB:

    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.

    • Anonymous 03/12/2012

      dog says

      thanks, that’s something at least

  5. Anonymous 03/13/2012

    Non-instructional (Research) NTTFs probably should have been on the survey too.

  6. Anonymous 03/14/2012

    The best answer to Puzzled Duck about the alleged “awkwardness” is to say–we are not inventing the wheel here, Rutgers, and other research Universities are unionized, and their contracts can be studied so that we can make contracts that work for us. It is unknown to YOU, but not unknown or unknowable, how a Union can work very well at a research university. There are different models, and WE faculty (YOU!) pick the contract you want to negotiate.

    Names of signers of course are NOT public record, because Union supporters have been often punished by employers historically (that would not happen in higher ed, would it? still, some people perceive their employer might punish them). Nonetheless, the reality is the Union cannot claim clear majorities in different categories if it is not true because the employer could make certain challenges to the BU, and then the ERB would check.
    Those challenges can most easily be stopped/headed off by actually having clear majorities in all classifications, hence the organizers know this and had this as THE goal. They met this goal BEFORE any legal deadlines–thus they filed early! They can safely claim they have clear majorities and did not have to file “in a rush” before they had all of the cards they needed.

    The Union at the UO is STRONG already; certification should be easy. The faculty has spoken more clearly than anyone anticipated. This is historic. This is a terrific start, and the administration should welcome this positive development of a strong unified faculty voice that will advocate to strengthen the research and teaching missions here on campus, and actively lobby for higher education in Salem. It is a new day. We have a NEW voice that cannot be easily ignored.

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