for the Study of Collective Bargaining in 
Higher Education and the Professions

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March 2016
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The National Center E-Note is a monthly electronic newsletter containing research and analysis relevant to collective bargaining in higher education and the professions.

The Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy, Volume 7:
Future, Present, Past: Collective Bargaining in Higher Education

Journal of CBA Logo  
The National Center is pleased to announce the publication of Volume 7 of the Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy (JCBA).  JCBA is the National Center's peer review journal co-edited by Jeffrey Cross, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Eastern Illinois University, and Steve Hicks, Associate Professor of English, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. 
Future, Present, Past: Collective Bargaining in Higher Education
Hamline University: First Contract Reached with SEIU for Adjunct Unit
According to a media report, the SEIU-represented adjunct faculty at Hamline University have ratified their first contract.  The agreement includes a 15% salary raise, a professional development fund, prior notice concerning course assignments, and compensation for late course cancellation.
SEIU was certified by the NLRB in June 2014 to represent the unit of approximately 83 regular part-time adjunct faculty.  As we reported last month, SEIU has a pending representation petition seeking to represent approximately 2,500 tenure track and non-tenure track faculty at the University of Minnesota.
St. Charles Community College: Adjuncts Vote for SEIU Representation
On March 2 and 3, 2016, an on-site representation election was conducted at the St. Charles Community College in Missouri concerning whether part-time faculty at that institution wanted to unionize with SEIU.  The St. Charles Community College Board of Trustees has a formal policy recognizing the right of its employees to organize and bargain collectively.

The secret ballot election was conducted utilizing the official ballot box from the St. Charles County Board of Elections, and the election was supervised by the League of Women Voters, according to the posted notice of election.  The election was not conducted by the Missouri State Board of Mediation because that agency lacks jurisdiction over representation issues concerning higher education faculty under that state's public sector statute. The recent election is another example of the use of voluntary procedures relating to representation issues, which can go beyond the scope of rights provided under a collective bargaining law.

The following is the at-issue faculty unit at St. Charles Community College:

Included: All part-time faculty who teach at least one credit bearing course.
Excluded: All full-time faculty; all Faculty Emeritus; faculty who have another position at the College that qualifies them for full-time status with the College; deans, administrators, department chairs; faculty who also serve in a supervisory, managerial or confidential role; individuals who teach courses only in the continuing education
program; athletic coaches; all other employees, supervisors, managers, confidential employees, office clerical employees, professional employees, and guards.
According to a media report, of the 333 eligible faculty members, 108 voted in favor of SEIU representation, and 61 voted against.  The next step will be for the St. Charles Community College Board of Trustees to certify or recognize SEIU as the sole exclusive representative of the part-time faculty unit.
College of Saint Rose: Full-Time Faculty Seek Voluntary Recognition
The Faculty Association of Saint Rose (FASTR) has announced that it has requested voluntary recognition from College of Saint Rose's President Carolyn Stefanco and its Board Chair based on documented support from a majority of the school's full-time faculty.  The announcement states that 100 faculty members have signed cards demonstrating majority support for representation by SEIU.  The effort to unionize comes on the heels of the college's plan to abolish 23 faculty positions, the faculty's 120-35 vote of no confidence in President Stefanco, and faculty picketing at an event where she received an award.

In September 2014, the NLRB certified SEIU as the exclusive representative of a separate bargaining unit of approximately 312 adjunct faculty members. 
USC: Objections Filed to Conduct During an Election Concerning a Non-Tenure Track Faculty Unit
University of Southern California, NLRB Case No. 31-RC-164864

On February 2, 2016, the NLRB Region 31 conducted a tally of ballots for the petitioned-for non-tenure track facuty unit at USC's Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.  As we previously reported, the tally of ballots found that 127 faculty voted against union representation and 113 voted in favor.

On February 9, 2016, SEIU filed objections to the conduct of the election alleging that the university had engaged in objectionable conduct that affected the outcome of the election including making threats, soliciting grievances, and promising grants of benefits. The NLRB hearing on SEIU's objections was scheduled to commence on February 23, 2016.   
USC: Request for Review Filed on Status of Non-Tenure Track Faculty
University of Southern California, NLRB Case No. 31-RC-164868

On February 24, 2016, the University of Southern California filed a request for review to the NLRB Board from a Decision and Direction of Election by the Region 31 Region Director finding that the at-issue non-tenure track faculty were not managerial under Pacific Lutheran University, 361 NLRB No. 157 (2014)

Following an election conducted on Feburary 2, 2016, the faculty in the unit voted in favor of unionization, and SEIU was certified as the exclusive representative for the unit on February 11, 2016.  The following is the at-issue faculty:

All full-time and part-time non-tenure track faculty who are employed by
the University of Southern California and who teach at least one credit-earning class, section, lesson, or lab within the academic unit known as the USC Roski School of Art and Design at the Employer's instructional facilities at the University Park Campus or at the Graduate Fine Arts Building, located at 3001 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, California 90007.

In its request for review, USC argues that the evidence demonstrates that the at-issue faculty should be found exempted from coverage under the National Labor Relations Act because they have managerial decision-making authority over all five areas of decision making outlined in Pacific Lutheran University: academic programs, enrollment, finance, academic policy and personnel policy.  In the alternative, USC argues that Pacific Lutheran University should be overturned because it is inconsistent with  the Supreme Court's decision in NLRB v. Yeshiva University, 444 U.S. 672 (1980).
Holy Names Univ.: Petition Filed for a Combined Non-Tenure Track Unit
Holy Names University, NLRB Case No. 32-RC-170352

On February 24, 2016, SEIU filed a representation petition with NLRB Region 32 seeking to represent a unit of approximately 90 faculty members at Holy Names University in Oakland.  The university is religiously-affiliated.  It is unknown, at the present time, whether the school will accept NLRB jurisdiction or litigate the question on the grounds that the agency should decline jurisdiction based upon the First Amendment. 

The university's mission statement posted on its website states:

"Holy Names University, rooted in Catholic intellectual and spiritual traditions, empowers a diverse student body for leadership and service. Guided by the core values of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, HNU is a progressive, inclusive, and rigorous academic community offering a liberal arts and professional education. We prepare students to think critically and imaginatively, to understand and employ the various modes of knowledge, to communicate clearly and persuasively, and to promote the common good."

The following is the proposed faculty unit set forth in SEIU's representation petition:

Included: all full-time and part-time non-tenured and non-tenure track Adjunct Faculty, Adjunct Instructors, Adjunct Professars, Adjunct Assistant Professors, Faculty Members, Instructors, Lecturers, Professors, and Single Subject Coordinators employed by the Employer.

Excluded: All tenured faculty, tenure-track faculty, tenured or tenure-track Assistant Professors, tenured or tenure-track Associate Professors, tenured or tenure-track Professors, Professors Emeritus, Professors Alumnus, Visiting Professors, Affiliate Professors, Kodaly Summer Institute faculty, Department Chairs, Directors, Assistant Directors, Academic Advisors, Campus Events and New Student Programs Coordinator, administrators (including division directors, center directors, assistant directors, program and department chairs, program staff, Deans and Chairs including those who may have teaching assignments), online faculty, students and student employees, teaching and research assistants and fellows, all other faculty in non-degree granting programs {including extension or continuing education instructors, public programs, distance learning, study abroad, library, pre-college programs, or other special programs), Individual Lesson Instructors (Individual Music Lesson instructors), Ensemble Directors, Instructors in Athletics and Recreation, all other employees, all volunteers, independent contractors, managerial employees, guards, and supervisors, as defined in the National Labor Relations Act. 
University of Oregon: Increasing Tenure Track Faculty and Decreasing Non-Tenure Track Faculty?
In early January 2016, University of Oregon President Michael Schill issued a memorandum stating that the university's financial stresses are undermining its mission, and that [i]t is now time to change the status quo...."  In his memorandum, President Schill noted the increase utilization of non-research faculty assigned to classroom teaching.  He further stated that:

"Today, our faculty is out of balance; only 47 percent are on the tenure track, 11 percentage points less than our AAU and public research institution peers. Additionally a lack of tight budget controls and monitoring systems created a situation where course loads for tenure-track faculty in some departments fell significantly below the stated institutional standards. We need to rebalance our faculty."

On January 13, 2016, Interim Tykeson Dean W. Andrew Marcus issued a memorandum, which discussed imbalances in the College of Arts and Sciences "in enrollment and the number instructional personnel in departments that have experienced dramatic increases or decreases. Student credit hours in the humanities, for instance, are down 8% overall since 2007-08 while our humanities tenure-track lines have grown by 19%, GTFs by 4%, and instructional NTTF FTE by 80%."  

On February 29, 2016, Interim Dean Marcus circulated another memorandum
announcing that he sent 79 non-renewal notices to non-tenure track faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences along with 11 notifications to other non-tenure track faculty reducing their FTE appointments.  In his memorandum, Dean Marcus acknowledged differences of opinion concerning these actions:

"I want to emphasize that all of these non-renewals followed conversations with department heads in affected units -- sometimes multiple conversations.  In a number of cases we scaled back our initial recommended cuts in order to maintain lower class sizes, address key pedagogical needs, or provide support for critical departmental functions.  I want to thank our department heads, managers, and the faculty who worked to help us understand local department needs.  A number of heads did not agree with my final decisions, but their willingness to engage in difficult conversations and offer alternative solutions made it possible to move through this challenging process in a manner that helped us meet the financial and strategic needs of the college while being as responsive as possible to the needs of each unit. "

Correction: the original story contained an incorrectly attributed quotation. 
Warren County Community College: NJ PERC Rules on Mandatory
and Non-Mandatory Subjects of Bargaining
Warren County Community College, NJ PERC No 2016-48

On January 28, 2016, the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission (NJ PERC) issued a decision resolving a dispute between Warren County Community College and the Warren County College Faculty Association concerning whether certain provisions in the expired agreement between the parties are mandatorily negotiable.  The Association represents a unit of all full-time teaching faculty
employed by the College holding the rank of Instructor, Assistant Professor,
Associate Professor or Professor.

NJ PERC determined that the subjects of the following contract provisions were mandatorily negotiable: a list of committees; faculty selection among different sections of the same course; consultation between administration and faculty to resolve scheduling conflicts; non-teaching reassignments to the extent they affect a faculty member's working hours, workload, or compensation; and the provision of a computer and appropriate software, as defined by the administration to faculty members for work-related purposes. 
The subjects of the following provisions were found by NJ PERC to be non-mandatory: faculty rights pertaining to primary responsibility for determining appropriate learning materials and strategies; faculty selection of course assignments; requiring faculty member reassignment if he/she is unable to make load because of enrollment issues; requiring mutual agreement with a faculty member prior to making teaching area assignments where he/she has limited formal preparation/experience; establishing the primary purpose of the semester schedule and requiring the College to honor faculty course and scheduling preferences; requiring mutual agreement with a faculty member prior to assigning non-teaching duties; requiring the College to provide sufficient clerical support to meet faculty needs; substantive criteria for faculty promotion and academic rank; requiring faculty promotional recommendations come
from the Professional Standards Committee and be included in the President's recommendation to the Board of Trustees; permitting the initiation of promotional
recommendations to come from the President; substantive faculty self-evaluation criteria and elements of faculty annual evaluation.
Chicago State University: Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board
Dismisses Unfair Labor Practice Allegations
Chicago State University, IELRB Case No. 2013-CA-0018-C
Chicago State University
, IELRB Case No. 2013-CA-0090-C
On February 18, 2016, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board issued orders dismissing unfair labor practice allegations filed by the University Professionals of Illinois, Local 4100, IFT-AFT, AFL-CIO (UPI) following recommended decisions by the agency's Director Victor E. Blackwell.

IELRB Case No. 2013-CA-0018-C

In this charge, UPI alleged that Chicago State University violated sections 14(a)(2), (5) and (1) of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act by failing and/or refusing to collect and remit dues deductions from UPI members pursuant to the parties' collective bargaining agreement.  IELRB dismissed the portion of the charge that alleged the university's conduct constituted domination or interference with the formation, existence or administration of UPI under section 14 (a)(2) of the Educational Labor Relations Act.  The dismissal was based on prior precedent finding that the at-issue provision of law was aimed at eliminating company unions and prohibiting recognition and collective bargaining with minority unions. 

According to the IELRB decision, other allegations in the charge resulted in the issuance of a complaint and a notice of hearing.

IELRB Case No. 2013-CA-0090-C 

In this charge, UPI alleged that the Chicago State University violated Section 14(a) of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act by repudiating the terms of the collective bargaining agreement with respect to a tenure-track faculty member who had sought retention following the first year of teaching.  The charge alleged that under the contract the university president, following a review of a first year tenure-track faculty member's portfolio, can grant retention and advance the faculty member to a second year probationary year or deny retention with an explanation.  In this case, however, the university president placed the faculty member on first-year status for another year due to a lack of sufficient documentation. 

In dismissing this charge, IELRB concluded that the alleged breach of the contract was not so substantial to demonstrate that the university repudiated or renounced the agreement.  Instead, the agency found that the alleged breach was a minor and singular event that can be remedied as part of the contract's grievance-arbitration provision. 
Boston University: Librarians Vote in Favor of Unionization with SEIU
Boston University, NLRB Case No: 01-RC-169125

On February 23, 2016, NLRB Region 1 conducted an election concerning the unionization of librarians at Boston University.  In a unit of approximately 11 employees, 6 voted in favor of union representation by SEIU, 1 voted against, and 1 ballot was challenged. 

The following is the at-issue librarian unit at Boston University:
All regular, full-time, professional, non-supervisory librarians employed at the Pappas Law Library, the School of Theology Library, and the Stone Science Library at the Charles River Campus, but excluding guards, watchmen, other professional employees, confidential employees, all technical and clerical employees, supervisors as defined in the Act, and temporary, seasonal, casual, and student employees.
Boston University: SEIU Files Petition to Represent a Lecturers' Unit    
Included: Non-Tenured or Non-Tenure-Track Lecturers, Master Lecturers, and Instructors who are salaried (whether full-time, part-time, or half-time), who teach at least one credit bearing course on the Charles River Campus of Boston University, including the Metropolitan College Prison Program. A Non-Tenured, Salaries Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Master Lecturer, or Instructor identified above working for the university in another capacity shall not cause that employee to lose status as a bargaining unit member unless expressly excluded in the exclusion listing below.

Excluded: Professors (including Full, Associates, Assistants and Professors of the Practice); Faculty compensated solely on a per course basis, School of Medicine Faculty; School of Dental Medicine Faculty; School of Management Faculty, Graduate School of Management Faculty; School of Law Faculty; Deans; Provosts; Administrators; Department Chairs; Graduate Assistants; Graduate Students; Athletic Coaches; Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Master Lecturers , or Instructors who teach only courses at campuses other than Charles River (excluding the Metropolitan College Prison Program) or non-degree granting courses (including the Center for Professional Education); all other employees; and managers, confidential employees, Guards and supervisors as defined by the Act.
Big Bend Comm. Coll.: New Certified Unit of Information Tech. Employees  
Big Bend Community College, WPERC Case No. 127449-E-15

On January 7, 2016, the Washington Public Employment Relations Board certified the Washington Public Employees Association to represent the following bargaining unit at Big Bend Community College:

All full-time and regular part-time information technology employees covered by Chapter 41.80 RCW and Chapter 41.06 RCW who are employed by the Big Bend Technology Department at the Big Bend Community College, excluding supervisors, confidential employees, and all other employees. 
Loyola University Chicago: Review Requested Over NLRB Jurisdiction
Loyola University Chicago, NLRB Case No. 13-RC-164618

On February 23, 2016, Loyola University Chicago filed a request for review with the NLRB Board from a decision by the NLRB Region Director finding that the NLRB can assert jurisdiction over the representation petition filed by SEIU to represent a bargaining unit of approximately 326 full-time and part-time non-tenure track faculty at the institution.

An election was held on January 27, 2016.  Of the 224 ballots counted, 142 faculty members voted in favor of representation, 82 voted against, and 12 ballots were challenged.

In its request for review, Loyola University Chicago argues that the revised test for asserting jurisdiction over a religiously-affiliated institution set forth in Pacific Lutheran University, 361 NLRB No. 157 (2014) is unconstitutional under the First Amendment.  In the alternative, it argues that the the Regional Director erred in asserting jurisdiction because the evidence clearly demonstrated that the institution holds out the petitioned-for faculty members as performing a specific role in creating or maintaining a religious educational environment. 
Loyola University Chicago: Election Ordered for ESL Instructor Unit
Loyola University Chicago, NLRB Case No. 13-RC-168082

On March 4, 2016, NLRB Acting Regional Director Paul Hitterman issued a Decision and Direction of Election in a representation case filed by SEIU seeking to represent approximately 12 full-time and part-time instructors working at Loyola University Chicago English Language Learning Program (ELLP)

The following is the stipulated at-issue unit:

Included: All full-time and part-time English Language Learning Program/ESL faculty and team members (adjunct instructors, instructors, ESL professors, ESL teachers, and ESL tutors) employed by Loyola University Chicago in the English Language Learning Program at its Main campus, 1032 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago, Illinois 60660.   
Excluding all tenured faculty and tenure-track faculty; all faculty only teaching in program or facilities other than those described above; all administrators, all other employees employed by the University including those who teach a class or course and are separately compensated for such teaching, and managers, confidential employees, office clerical employees and professional employees, guards and supervisors as defined in the Act.

In his decision, Acting Director Hitterman concluded that the NLRB can assert jurisdiction over the representation petition because the university had failed to demonstrate with specific evidence that it holds out the at-issue instructors as performing a role in providing a religious education environment.  The Acting Director also rejected the university's argument that Pacific Lutheran University, 361 NLRB No. 157 (2014) is inapplicable to instructors in the ELLP program because they were not "faculty" who teach substantive degree-bearing courses.  Lastly, the Acting Director denied the university's various legal challenges to the NLRB's new rules for handling representation cases. 
Kaplan International: Petition Filed to Represent ESL Teachers 
Kaplan International, NLRB Case No. 13-RC-168082
On March 7, 2016, the Newspaper Guild filed a representation petition with Region 13 seeking to represent approximately 30 full-time and part-time ESL teachers at Kaplan International in Chicago. 

The following is the proposed unit in the representation petition:

Included: All full-time and part-time ESL teachers, substitute teachers and academic coordinators employed by the Employer in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Excluded: All other employees including managers, guards and supervisors as defined in the Act.
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National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions | Hunter College 425 E 25th St. | Box 615 | New York | NY | 10010