BGSU faculty group files for union election PDF Print E-mail
Written by By HAROLD BROWN/Sentinel City Editor   
Thursday, 04 February 2010 12:45
Dr. David Jackson (hands in air at right) celebrates after the BGSU Faculty Association Thursday morning delivered notice that the group has collected enough signature cards to allow faculty to vote on union representation. Jackson is presient of BGSU-FA. (J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)

(Updated 1:42 p.m. 2-4) The Bowling Green State University Faculty Association Thursday morning announced it has filed a petition with the State Employee Relations Board calling for an election on collective bargaining.
BGSU-FA President Dr. David Jackson said more than 57 percent of the 800-plus faculty members have signed a card asking for the election.

Early Thursday afternoon BGSU President Carol Cartwright and Kenneth W. Borland, Jr.
Senior Vice President and Provost, issued the following statement:

"We do not support the organizing effort. We believe it would fundamentally alter the faculty culture of BGSU and do nothing to accomplish the strategic goals that the BGSU community has established for itself. However, we respect the faculty's right to pursue this action and look forward to the conversation leading up to an election."

Members and supporters gathered around the BGSU seal in the center of campus about 9:30 a.m. and three officers proceeded to Cartwright’s office in nearby McFall Center to deliver the notice.
Two staff members accepted the petitions and said they would deliver them to Cartwright. The BGSU president was reported to be on a conference call at the time of the visit.
The three officers were greeted with a round of applause from about 20 supporters as they exited the north doors of McFall Center. A press conference was held a few minutes later in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.
“We believe collective bargaining represents our best opportunity to stand up for the things that make BGSU great and that earn us national recognition: the excellent teaching and cutting-edge research of dedicated faculty members. Collective bargaining gives faculty a real voice in its shared governance of our university, as well as the ability to negotiate a fair contract,” Jackson said.
BGSU-FA officials hope the university does not employ legal maneuvers to delay an election. Jackson would like to see the vote held before the end of spring semester the first week in May.

Delays could result from BGSU actions or the fact that SERB has also suffered from state budget cuts and may not be able to run an election that quickly. One thing that may speed up an election is that SERB is working on a electronic mail vote system, Jackson said.
A BGSU graduate and faculty member since 1998, Jackson said “an incredible amount of hard work” on the part of volunteers has gotten the organization to this point.
“This is not an adversarial case,” Jackson said, adding the group is seeking more involvement in the governance of the university and is not interested in wage agreements that cause the university financial hardship.
Jackson noted that faculty unions exist at the University of Cincinnati, Kent State, Akron, Wright State and the University of Toledo. “They are getting raises that don’t break the bank, but they do get raises. We don’t.”
Dr. Geoffrey C. Howes, BGSU-FA vice president, said the group “plans a vigorous and open public debate on the pros and cons of the issue.”
“A happy and satisfied faculty are more likely to stay at BGSU,” Jackson said. He said faculty turnover is an issue, explaining that 40 to 50 faculty left a year ago and 40 others have elected to participate in the early separation plan offered by the university.
Jackson said union election efforts in 1979 and 1994 fell short.
Other officers of the BGSU-FA are Dr. Candice Archer, secretary, and Karen Craigo, communications director.
Last Updated on Friday, 05 February 2010 10:33

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