#1 College professors dissolve their union
04-25-2013, 03:07 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
You NEVER hear about this. Professors at Montana State University at Bozeman voted to get rid of their union because "the financial benefits of being unionized were not worth the cost of union dues and that being unionized hurt faculty productivity."
I think that hell just froze over.
Professors at Montana State U. at Bozeman Vote to Scrap Their Union
Tenured and tenure-track faculty members at Montana State University at Bozeman have taken the unusual step of scrapping their collective-bargaining unit, marking a major setback for the union that organizes instructors at that state's public colleges.
The MEA-MFT, a state union affiliated with both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, has conceded defeat in a closely contested decertification election at the Bozeman campus. In abandoning its challenge to ballots that were in dispute, the union has handed a victory to a decertification campaign that had argued that the financial benefits of being unionized were not worth the cost of union dues and that being unionized hurt faculty productivity.
"We are not intending to fight this election anymore," Eric Feaver, president of the MEA-MFT, said in an interview on Tuesday. "The election is a legitimate election, and we are moving on."...
...On a national level, faculty votes for union decertification are virtually unheard-of. Faculty-union decertifications of any form have been rare since the 1980s, when administrators at a number of private colleges got faculty unions at their institutions decertified in response to a 1980 U.S. Supreme Court decision. That ruling, in National Labor Relations Board v. Yeshiva University, empowered colleges to deny union representation to faculty members who could be classified as managers.
Montana State University and the state-university system that oversees it had not taken a stand on the Bozeman campus's decertification election, characterizing it as a faculty matter. "We were ready to live with the outcome either way," Kevin McRae, the system's associate commissioner for communications and human resources, said on Tuesday.
In the ballot count last week, 190 faculty members had voted to decertify the collective-bargaining unit while 185 had voted to keep it. The election's outcome remained up in the air because six ballots were left unopened because of disputes over the voters' eligibility. Four were challenged by the union, and two were challenged by the faculty members who organized the decertification effort.
The Montana Department of Labor and Industry's hearing bureau had not yet reached decisions on the disputed ballots when leaders of the MEA-MFT and its Bozeman campus affiliate decided on Monday to abandon their ballot challenges, leaving intact the majority of votes in favor of decertification. The union had faced tough odds of prevailing; it would have lost if just one of the six disputed ballots had been counted as a vote for decertification.
Bennett Link, a professor of physics who was one of the lead organizers of the decertification campaign, declined to comment on Tuesday until he had final word on the election's outcome from the state. Most faculty members at the forefront of the decertification campaign were scientists, who generally fare better financially in nonunionized environments than do scholars in many other disciplines.....
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