December 17, 2012
Attendees: Tom Teper (Chair), Pat Allen, JoAnn Jacoby, Betsy Kruger for Mary Laskowski , Lisa Romero, Lynne Rudasil, Beth Sandore, Mary Schlembach, Susan Searing, Sandy Wolf
Tom Teper reported on a recent meeting he attended in which members of the Provost’s office discussed a draft version of the attached document. The Provost’s office stated that they hold an agnostic position on the issue of faculty unionization – their primary concern being ensuring the excellence of the campus. The recently forwarded FAQ is meant to help faculty and department administrators understand their rights and how faculty unionization could affect the campus.
Conversation centered on three themes:
Although the discussion centered on the Campus Faculty Association (CFA), Beth Sandore noted that the FAQ document does not state the CFA is the potential union organizer under discussion.
Seek to clarify – Which organization is referenced as ‘union’ in the Provost’s FAQ?
The CFA says the document in question is merely a ‘letter of interest’ and categorically not a union card. However, the administration claims that union organizers at UIC used similar ‘cards’ when they conducted a card count to authorize their unions last year. There seem to be inconsistencies in the positions of the CFA and the administration.
Much of the discussion centered on the ability of faculty to rescind the ‘letter of interest’ they had previously signed. The FAQ indicates that faculty should contact the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) before a formal petition is made for a card-count to authorize the union and the CFA.
The AULs will try to continue to facilitate a dialog with the administration. Faculty are welcome to pose any further questions regarding the issue to them.
Results are currently being tabulated and analyzed and remain confidential at this point. Beth noted that the survey had a 25 % response rate, and there were many thoughtful comments and suggestions. Jim Dohle will work with Jen Yu to follow-up with individuals who volunteered further comment. Beth plans to present the results of the survey to the Council by late January.
The campus will be participating in a local version of the Ithaka S+R faculty survey. The Provost’s office will send an invitation to faculty in early February. Jen Yu is working on an internal marketing plan to increase survey response from Library Faculty. Beth suggested looking at Harvard’s COACHE survey for further guidance.