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FAQ: How would a union affect faculty and staff?

Will union representation and collective bargaining enhance our salary and working conditions?

Collective bargaining offers the opportunity for faculty and staff to be full partners in any decisions that affect salary, pay practices, and working conditions. From the unions' perspective, collective bargaining is a pro-active process, that is, faculty and staff would introduce comprehensive proposals regarding salary issues and working conditions that embody their goals in these areas.

The ensuing negotiations would shape the ultimate agreement on these issues. Salary and working conditions are invariably enhanced when faculty and staff collectively identify desired outcomes and negotiate from a unified position.

What is the record of negotiations at other higher education institutions?

Other institutions, large and small, such as the California State University system, the State University of New York system, the University of Hawai'i, Central Oregon State College, many of the universities in Montana, and the community colleges in most states, have successfully utilized the collective bargaining process. In addition, many of these faculty and staff members have enhanced their standing with their respective legislatures and administrations by utilizing and encouraging effective modes of communication and dispute resolution.

Does a negotiated contract offer greater security than a current shared governance agreement?

A negotiated agreement offers all employees the greatest degree of certainty and security. Such an agreement clearly sets forth the terms and conditions of employment. These terms reflect the input of employees and are secured by agreement for a specified length of time. The usual current shared governance procedure controls only the relationship between the administration and the faculty or staff. The board of trustees is not bound in any legal way to a decision reached through the shared governance agreement. In this time of fiscal volatility an agreement built on faculty involvement would provide a significant increase in stability.

What are some of the benefits and services NEA provides higher-education unions?

Who will develop the constitution and bylaws of the new union?

Faculty and/or staff who become members of the local chapter would develop and adopt a constitution and bylaws to replace any interim operating principles. Officers would be democratically elected, and committee appointments made in accordance with the constitution and bylaws. The constitution and bylaws would be established in a fully democratic and inclusive manner.

How would I have a voice in the union?

The union would establish a constitution and bylaws that address the organizations structure and rules of operation. Specifically, these democratically established procedures would define the kinds of officers, committees, and representative structures that would exist.  In addition, the electoral procedure, length of office, etc., would be established. Individuals would participate by becoming members and seeking an active and, perhaps, elected role in the organization