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BGSU faculty, administration both file unfair labor practice complaints PDF Print E-mail
Written by JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN Sentinel County Editor   
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 12:01
File photo. Faculty members file through a hallway and into a BGSU board of trustees meeting to stage a sit-in. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Bowling Green State University administration and the faculty union have filed unfair labor practice complaints against each other.
The dispute is over the administration's request that the Faculty Association turn over names of union members.
"In our view, there is no legitimate reason they would need them," Dr. David Jackson, president of the Faculty Association, said Tuesday evening. "There's a lot of reasons why we want to protect our membership list," especially since the administration is in the process of cutting 100 faculty at the university.
Administration officials refused to answer questions about why they want the names of union members.
The only response from the university was a repeat of the statement released last week. "The BGSU administration continues to negotiate in good faith with the BGSU Faculty Association for our first collective bargaining agreement with the goal of reaching a mutually beneficial contract. Negotiations have now moved to fact-finding. In keeping with our commitment to the Faculty Association to negotiate at the bargaining table, and not in the media, BGSU will not be commenting further."
Jackson was firm that the faculty union would not turn over names to the administration.
"We absolutely will not ever reveal the names of our members, especially now in the context of job cuts," Jackson said. "We don't want the appearance of retaliation to exist."
Since the union refused to turn over its membership, the administration filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the Ohio State Employment Relations Board against with Faculty Association.
In response, the union then filed its own unfair labor practice complaint with SERB.
According to the faculty union, case law exists "prohibiting employers from asking employees about individual union affiliation." And the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that "employers may not seek to obtain the identity of union employees."
The faculty voted by 57 percent to unionize in October of 2010. They are still negotiating their contract with administration.
Jackson said the administration is interested in getting the numbers of the faculty members who joined the union since it is questioning the "fair share fee." Faculty members are not forced to join the union and are not required to pay union dues. However, they must pay a portion of their salaries as a "fair share fee," which is charged of every non-union person employed in a position that benefits from the services of the bargaining unit.
The filing of the complaints is the latest friction between the university administration and faculty union.
The administration announced a few weeks ago that 100 faculty members would be cut prior to classes starting this fall. While the majority are expected to be lost through retirement and attrition, an unidentified number will be faculty whose one-year contracts won't be renewed.
In response to the proposed cuts, the BGSU Faculty Senate voted last week to pass a resolution asking the administration to reconsider the cuts. Then the day after that meeting, a protest march was held on campus with an estimated 200 faculty, students and alumni participating. The protesters delivered a petition with more than 5,000 signatures to BGSU President Dr. Mary Ellen Mazey asking that the faculty cuts not be made.

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