Update on a Pending Union Issue
This afternoon, we received word from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington, D.C. that they have granted the college’s request for review of the decision by the regional director of the NLRB to combine faculty and staff in a single bargaining unit. In the words of the Board, it granted our request for review because “it raises substantial issues warranting review, particularly with respect to (1) whether the long-standing principle that a petitioned-for wall-to-wall unit is presumptively appropriate should be applied to units in higher education that includes both faculty and staff, and (2) whether the petitioned-for unit is appropriately considered a wall-to-wall unit….”
We have maintained consistently that the regional director’s decision to include faculty and staff in the same bargaining unit was both unprecedented under the NLRB’s own legal standards and impractical as a framework for collective bargaining. As I indicated in an earlier message to the community, our request for review indicated why faculty and staff should not be combined in the same unit, given the sharp differences in the nature of their work and the distinctive terms and conditions governing the employment of the two groups. The Board is in agreement that this issue is important and warrants review by the full Board in Washington.
We do not know how long it will take for the Board to reach its final decision. In the meantime the ballots from the January election will remain impounded. We will make sure to keep you posted on developments, and, as always, I appreciate your patience as this process moves forward.