National Center E-Note
National Center for the Study
of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions


 
February 2014
Greetings!

The National Center E-Note is a periodic electronic bulletin providing news, updates and analysis concerning events and issues of interest to our constituency groups.  

Contingent Faculty Issues To Be Examined As Part of Six Panels at the National Center's 41st Annual Conference
At our annual national conference on April 6-8, 2014 at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City, there will be six panels examining issues relating to contingent and adjunct faculty in higher education.  One panel will include researchers discussing the impact of the use of contingent faculty on higher education results.  Another panel will examine labor strategies in organizing contingent faculty, while a third panel will include administrators presenting their perspectives on contingent faculty organizing.  There will also be two panels at the conference discussing the terms and conditions of employment that have resulted from collective bargaining at various institutions of higher education.  Lastly, we will have a panel providing an international perspective on non-tenure track faculty in higher education.

For additional information, the conference brochure and schedule are available on our website. http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/ncscbhep. 

On-line registration is available at: https://ncscbhep.wufoo.com/forms/conference-registration-form/.

Conference Workshops: For those planning on attending one of the five practical workshops on negotiations, mediation and arbitration, please e-mail your workshop choices to: national.center@hunter.cuny.edu.  

The National Center's 41st annual conference is underwritten by a grant from TIAA-CREF with additional funding from Segal/Sibson.
National Center Publication Announcement:
Volume V, The Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy
We are pleased to announce the publication of Volume V of the Journal  Journal of CBA Logo of Collective Bargaining in the Academy (JCBA), which is available at http://thekeep.eiu.edu/jcba/.   

Volume V includes the following contributions:


Positive Collaboration: Beyond Labor Conflict and Labor Peace by Richard Boris;

 

Shelter from the Storm: Rekindling Research on Collective Bargaining and  

Representation Issues by William A. Herbert;

 

Organizational Culture, Knowledge Structures, and Relational Messages in  

Organizational Negotiation: A Systems Approach by Vincent P. Cavataio and  

Robert S. Hinck;

 

Collective Begging at Its Best: Labor-Management Relations in South Dakota by Gary Aguiar;

 

Bargaining Market Equity Adjustments by Rank and Discipline by Jonathan P. Blitz and Jeffrey F. Cross;

 

Negotiating for Curriculum & Class Size, 2011-13: One Faculty Union's Perspective by Steve Hicks and Amy Rosenberger.

 

JCBA is an open access, peer-review online National Center publication.  It is hosted by the Booth Library, Eastern Illinois University.  JCBA welcomes submission of scholarly articles from a wide community of university and college faculty, post-doctoral scholars, graduate students, administrators, union leaders and representatives and others with an interest in collective bargaining and representation issues in the academy.
Introducing National Center Research Interns
We are also pleased to introduce our two new research interns:

Jamie Lipman
is a Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law student who joined us this semester as part of that law school's externship program.  Mr. Lipman is researching collective bargaining and representation issues concerning graduate students.  He will also be assisting with the annual conference.  Mr. Lipman was raised in New Jersey and attended college at the University of Maryland in College Park. While in law school, his primary focus has been on labor and employment issues.  He previously interned with the New York City Civil Service Commission.

Charlie Spatz is an honors graduate of Colby College where he earned his bachelor's degree in Science, Technology and Society (STS).  Mr. Spatz is researching collective bargaining results with respect to contingent faculty, and he will be providing assistance at the annual conference.  While at Colby College, Mr. Spatz developed an interest in collective bargaining and labor relations issues in higher education.  As an STS undergraduate, he researched science and environmental issues in the United States and abroad. In addition to his research and analytical skills, Mr. Spatz's photography has been exhibited at various galleries. 
USDOL Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 Analysis of Union Membership
On January 24, 2014, the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) issued its analysis of union membership in the United States in 2013. Overall the percentage of union membership in 2013 remained essentially the same as in 2012: 11.3%. The percentage of union membership in education, training, and library occupations continued to be the highest at 35.3%.  While the overall percentage of union membership in the private sector increased from 6.6% to 6.7% in 2013 there was a decline in public sector membership from 35.9% in 2012 to 35.3% in 2013.
The BLS report is available at: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/union2.pdf.
First Amendment Court Cases of Interest
Lane v. Franks:  On January 17, 2014, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by a former Central Alabama Community College administrator who claims his First Amendment rights were violated when he was terminated for testifying as a subpoenaed prosecution witness against a former college employee charged with mail fraud and fraud.  The constitutional case before the Supreme Court will provide it with an opportunity to reexamine the exclusionary rule pronounced in Garcetti v. Ceballos, which treats public employee speech pursuant to official duties as being outside of First Amendment protections.  

Demers v. Austin:  A recent revised opinion, dated January 29, 2014, by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit might lead to the United States Supreme Court considering the applicability of the Garcetti v. Ceballos exclusionary rule to cases involving academic freedom. The case was brought by a Washington State University professor who alleges that he was subject to retaliation in violation of his First Amendment rights for preparing and distributing a short pamphlet concerning the restructuring of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded that although the professor's speech activity was pursuant to his professorial duties, the Garcetti v. Ceballos rule was inapplicable to teaching and academic writing by a professor or teacher.  It, therefore, examined the professor's activities under the first step of analysis applicable in most public employee free speech cases, and concluded that his pamphlet touched upon a matter of public concern.  

Harris v. Quinn: For close to four decades, it has been a settled constitutional principle that collective bargaining laws can include a provision requiring non-union members in a bargaining unit to pay an agency fee for union representation concerning such matters as collective negotiations, contract administration, and grievance adjustment.  On January 21, 2014, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in Harris v. Quinn to determine a First Amendment challenge to an Illinois collective bargaining law that mandates non-member home care aides in a state-created bargaining unit to pay a fee to the union representing that unit.  A decision by the Supreme Court sustaining the constitutional challenge to the Illinois' agency fee provision might have substantial ramifications for similar agency fee provisions in other collective bargaining laws and negotiated agreements.  A decision by the Court is expected by the end of June 2014.   
Federal Judge Strikes Down Michigan Graduate Student Statute
Toth v. Callaghan:  In Michigan, United States District Court Judge Goldsmith issued a decision on February 5, 2014 striking down a 2012 state law that excluded individuals holding the title of graduate student research assistant (GSRA) or an equivalent position from the definition of "employee," thereby statutorily denying collective bargaining rights to those individuals under the Michigan Public Employment Relations Act (MPERA).  Judge Goldsmith struck down the law on the basis that the legislative procedure used to enact the statute violated the Michigan state constitution. 
 
According to Judge Goldsmith's decision, the at-issue law was enacted after the University of Michigan Board of Regents adopted a resolution recognizing GSRAs as public employees, and while the Michigan Employment Relations Commission was reconsidering its prior conclusion that GSRAs were not employees under MPERA.  
Recent Publications of Interest
The following recent publications might be of interest to National Center constituency groups:

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has announced proposed amendments to its procedural rules concerning the handling of representation cases. The proposed changes include: permitting electronic filing and transmission of election petitions and other documents; the streamlining of election procedures to facilitate consent agreements and to eliminate unnecessary litigation; and the inclusion of telephone numbers and email addresses in voter lists to facilitate communications from parties to the election.  A copy of the NLRB's proposed rule changes are available at: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/02/06/2014-02128/representation-case-procedures.  Initial comments to the proposed procedural rule changes are due by April 7, 2014. 

The Center for American Progress has published a January 28, 2014 briefing prepared by Elizabeth Baylor and David A. Bergeron entitled Public College Quality Compact for Students and Taxpayers: A Proposal to Reverse Declining State Investment in Higher Education and Improve Quality and Affordability. The authors propose a federal competitive grant program aimed at encouraging state funding for public higher education.  Under their proposal, states would be mandated to implement various reforms including creating a stable and reliable tax-supported funding mechanism for public higher education. The briefing is available at: http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/HigherEd-brief.pdf.

The United States House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce Democratic Staff issued a report in January 2014 summarizing responses it received from contingent faculty in higher education concerning their working conditions. The anecdotal responses received were from an eForum launched in November 2013.  The staff report, which is entitled The Just-In-Time Professor, is available at: http://democrats.edworkforce.house.gov/sites/democrats.edworkforce.house.gov/files/documents/1.24.14-AdjunctEforumReport.pdf.
Register Early for the Annual Conference 
We encourage you to register early for the annual conference, and to book your hotel reservations.

We look forward to seeing you in April in New York City.
 
Sincerely,

 

William A. Herbert, Executive Director
Michelle Saravese, Administrator 

National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions 
national.center@hunter.cuny.edu | http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/ncscbhep
Hunter College, City University of New York
425 E 25th St.
Box 615
New York, NY 10010

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