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My own anti-union posts from last year are here and my more neutral but outdated Union FAQ is here.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.

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20 Responses to Faculty vote to decertify union, 190 to 185.

  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s hard to see how the events of recent months could be viewed as having lessened the concerns of the anti-union crowd. That crowd was motivated by concerns that (a) unionization would create an increasingly competitive relationship between faculty and administration, (b) could undermine shared governance, (c) would not lead to an increase in benefits (beyond what we would have gotten under any circumstances) that would cover of the dues or fair share payments we will have to make, and (d) would pit faculty against one another because of the “some are in, some are out” approach to constructing the bargaining class. So where are we now? Nothing has happened that alleviates concerns about ‘c’ and ‘d,’ and there’s reason for continuing concern about ‘b.’ So the only real room for discussion is around ‘a.’ The chasm between faculty and administration has clearly widened in recent months. Union supporters, however, would presumably argue that the chasm was already so wide that making it worse is no big deal, and represents the only hope of moving the institution in a different direction. The opposing argument is that we are in the process of a fundamental shift from a group of administrators that created the existing chasm to a group with a different set of priorities–and that we’re much more likely to move forward in a constructive way if we can improve collaboration and weaken the administration-faculty divide, not strengthen it. When the latter is considered alongside ‘b,’ ‘c,’ and ‘d,’ there’s little room for enthusiasm over where unionization is taking us.

    • UO Matters says:

      What concrete steps has Gottfredson taken on strengthening shared governance? He won’t sign the constitution, he spent months trying to prevent the IAC from getting student data, he’s set up a bunch of “working groups” to avoid the Senate’s committee structure, he’s let Randy Geller meddle in the public records process, and he tried and has so far succeeded at preventing voting faculty representation on the new UO Board.

    • Anonymous says:

      Since I know for a fact that Gottfredson has pushed for faculty representation on the new UO Board, it’s hard to know how to evaluate the credibility of the other claims you make. This blog has brought some interesting stuff to light, but I’m frustrated by the consistent posting of half-truths or things that just aren’t correct.

    • UO Matters says:

      I talked with two state legislators who told me (and others in the room) that the effort to prevent the board from having a voting faculty representative was strongly supported by the UO leadership. They did not actually say “by President Gottfredson” but that sure seemed like the message they were trying to get across.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gottfredson’s “pushing” is all show. What has he actually done? Nothing.

  2. Awesome0 says:

    I think that national union really wants ours to work so they can hold us up as a prime example of a union working. The UO is a unique public univ with money to pay, but past corruption has diverted resources elsewhere. Many other univs (Montana State) haven’t had resources and hence a union got them nothing (1 percent raises per year ???, really). And so the union was abandoned.

    The national brand of UO generated by our successful football team allows the national unions to try to see other public univ on unionizing, if they are successful.

    That said I don’t like the idea of min wages, and I think the institution of a large floor (36,000) will cost many part-time instructors there fraction of a fte, and PE will consilidate positions.

  3. Anonymous says:

    National vs local… you guys don’t get it. Out satisfaction with the local dictates whether the union continues. If we can’t make it successful locally, we abandone them, both locally and nationally. You are looking to the wrong margins for excuses to not get behind it and be productive in taking on the administration. (Our admins are local… you think local fixes everything?)

    • Anonymous says:

      There is a reason that decertifying the union is an onerous task. Especially a union with such disparate factions. The inertia built into the process along with the one size fits all definition the union employed at UO undermines the local ability to change the union, and I am sure they like/planned it that way.

  4. Anonymous says:

    National>local; until this is resolved the union is bogus and will hurt more than it helps in the long run.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “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”

    “would likely…..” there are quite a few of us that fit the above definition but were not on the exclusion list; thus we have no clue where we fit into this mess. At this point it is a matter of who do I distrust most (admin or union) and neither has done much to impress me so far.

    • Anonymous says:

      What would you like to see from the union? Inclusion of the strike option would be highest on my list. They should have put started with a higher salary increase, too.

    • Anonymous says:

      The problems with the union…. The constant misinformation and sometimes outright lies during the card check process, the timing of that process and the lumping of several discrete groups (with many varied and at times by nature competing interests) into a single union.

    • UO Matters says:

      If you want to make a difference sign the membership card, so you get a vote and can make the union more democratic.

    • Anonymous says:

      The union is going to be competing with its own interests. There’s the national organization that wants our dues, but may not necessarily care about the local organization. This was evident when they sent officials out to bang on people’s doors on a Saturday morning and try to intimidate them into signing their cards.

      There’s the local that wants to really represent faculty, but also needs help from national on how to run a union.

      Both are entities that I don’t feel really care about the individual. However, the problems with the administration of this University are so deep and systemic that I don’t think having a union could hurt us any more than we’re already hurting.

  6. Anonymous says:

    You give them way too much credit for strategic thought.

    • Anonymous says:

      Rudnick’s strategerized her way to a fat account.

    • Anonymous says:

      She’s just a chump. I’ve worked along side her in the past. Not much behind her. She thinks there is, though, which is often enough to pay the bills.

  7. Anonymous says:

    So, the Administration’s incompetence tends to validate the union. Sometimes I wonder if they do that on purpose. Then they can treat the Faculty as Labor and tightly circumscribe the areas that are “legitimate” concerns of Labor, Sounds like their wet dream to me.

  8. Cat says:

    “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.”

    This describes my view exactly. I thought forming a union was dumb, with all kinds of divisive, poorly thought-through consequences. But it’s clear now that it’s the admin that’s dumb, and acting without much thought to consequences. I’m ready to sign on.

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