Labor-Relations Board Seeks Input on Faculty Unions at Private Colleges

By Sara Hebel, Chronicle of Higher Education

The National Labor Relations Board is soliciting legal briefs on the question of whether or not faculty members at private colleges should be considered managers, a distinction that determines whether they are eligible for union representation. Continue reading

Academic Labor Conference Produces Sharply Different Visions of Colleges’ Financial Future

By Peter Schmidt, Chronicle of Higher Education

The administrators and faculty representatives who gathered here Monday for an annual national conference of academic labor disagreed sharply on the question of whether they should fight or seek to adapt to trends that have put colleges and their employees under financial pressure.

Some college administrators and experts at the joint labor-management conference argued that calls for colleges to do more with steadily less represent the “new normal” in higher education, and the unions representing faculty members and other college employees would be well-advised to focus their attention on finding ways to cope with changes such declining support for public colleges from tax dollars. Continue reading

‘In the Same Boat’: Labor-Conference Speakers Call for Unity in Bid to Shape Higher-Education Policy

By Audrey Williams June, Chronicle of Higher Education

At an annual labor conference here, one message was clear: Faculty members, union leaders, and administrators share a common plight more than ever these days and need to work together to help shape public policy and public perception about higher education—or get prepared to deal with the consequences. Continue reading

On the Chopping Block

From the Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Labor & Work Life Issues” section

posted June 25, 2010, 03:21 PM ET

• Employee Unions File Complaints Over Pay Freeze at Rutgers U. (read original)

Employee unions at Rutgers University have banded together to file charges against the public institution for its decision to freeze employee pay to save money. The charges, filed with the New Jersey Public Employees Relations Commission, stem from the university’s announcement this month that it would not give employees scheduled pay raises. Faculty members were scheduled to get a 2.75-percent raise on July 1. A hearing before the commission on the issue is slated for July 7.

June 19, 2010, 09:45 AM ET

• Arkansas Official Suspends Pay Raises at State’s Public Colleges (Read Original)

Faculty members and other nonclassified employees at public colleges across Arkansas will not receive pay raises they were expecting to get during the 2011 fiscal year after the director of the state’s Department of Finance and Administration announced on Thursday that such raises would be suspended for state agencies, including colleges and universities. The state official, Richard Weiss, invoked a provision of Arkansas law that allows him to take such action based on revenue forecasts for the fiscal year, which begins on July 1. The situation was described in a news release issued by Arkansas State University at Jonesboro and in an article published in the Log Cabin Democrat.

posted December 4, 2009

• ‘Significant Downsizing’ Is Likely for Iowa State U., Its President Warns (read original)

Continue reading

Wisconsin Academics Get Expansive Bargaining Bill

by Barbara McKenna, American Federation of Teachers, June 30, 2009 –Read original post

After 40 long years of advocacy and a roller coaster ride of hopes raised, then dashed, academic employees in the University of Wisconsin system finally have the right to decide whether they will be represented by a union. On June 29, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle signed the 2009-2011 biennial budget, which includes a provision extending collective bargaining rights to more than 20,000 UW faculty, academic staff and research assistants. Continue reading

What Happens When Entire Departments Get the Axe

By Robin Wilson, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 18, 2009 –read original post

The Jones Theatre at Washington State University is getting a $500,000 face-lift this summer. A construction crew has already ripped out its 500 orange and blue seats and is replacing them with new ones covered in a wine-colored fabric. The theater’s walls are being painted a light beige, and a new set of black velour curtains will grace the stage.But some professors are worried that the theater will remain dark. That’s because the department of theater and dance is one of three academic programs slated for elimination because of budget cuts at Washington State. Officials say they must slash a total of $54-million from the university’s budget over the next two years. The 11 tenured and tenure-track professors who work in the three programs are also on the chopping block. Continue reading

Restructuring -or How to Fire Staff

Faculty Members and Union Protest Staff Layoffs at Temple U. as ‘Cruel’

by Erica Hendry, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 2, 2009 – Read original post

Union leaders, department heads, and faculty members at Temple University are calling the way the administration handled the firing of several staff members on Wednesday “simply cruel.”

The university announced on Monday of last week that it was moving forward with plans to restructure its administrative staff, as part of efforts to save money. According to several faculty members, all positions as they existed were terminated, and the affected staff members had the opportunity to apply for a number of newly created jobs. Continue reading