for the S tudy of C ollective B argaining in 
H igher E ducation and the P rofessions
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August 2017
The National Center E-Note is a monthly electronic newsletter containing research and analysis relevant to unionization and collective bargaining in higher education and the professions.

1.     Call for Papers for National Center's 2018 Annual Conference
2.     Regional Conference Scheduled for Long Beach, California on Dec. 1-2, 2017

3.     Program on the Taylor Law at 50: September 26, 2017 at Hunter College 


Call for Papers for National Center's 2018 Annual Conference
  45th Annual Conference in NYC: April 15-17, 2018  
The National Center has issued a Call for Papers inviting scholars and practitioners from multiple disciplines to submit abstracts of proposed papers, panels, and interactive workshops for the National Center's 45th annual conference that will take place on April 15-17, 2018.

Abstracts need to be uploaded to dropbox here by September 8, 2017.
We welcome proposals by authors of recently published books who wish to present their scholarship relevant to higher education, unionization, collective bargaining, labor relations, and/or labor history.   A2
National Center Regional Conference in Long Beach on Dec. 1-2, 2017 
On December 1-2, 2017, the National Center will be holding a regional conference at California State University, Long Beach.  On-line registration will begin in the next few weeks. 
Among the topics to be examined at the regional conference:
The Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Higher Education

Unionization and Bargaining Regarding Adjunct Faculty
Current Labor-Management Issues for College Classified Staff
Strategies and Challenges in Higher Education Funding 
Current Labor-Management Issues at Community Colleges
Workshop Training: Collective Bargaining and Labor Relations for 
Administrators and Labor Representatives

For more information about the regional conference contact the National Center at or (212) 481-7550. A3

Program on the Taylor Law at 50: September 26, 2017 at Hunter College
On September 26, 2017, Hunter College will be hosting a public policy program at Roosevelt House in New York City examining New York's Taylor Law.

The program is being sponsored by the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, the National Center, and the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies.  The program will include panels examining the Taylor Law in historical context, and exploring the future of public sector unionization and collective bargaining. 

Registration for this program will begin in late August.  For more information about the Taylor Law program contact the National Center at or (212) 481-7550.
Program participants will include:
William A. Herbert, Distinguished Lecturer, Hunter College, and Executive Director, National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions

John Wirenius, Chairperson, New York State Public Employment Relations Board

Joshua B. Freeman, Distinguished Professor, CUNY Graduate Center and Queens College

Martin H. Malin, Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for Law and the Workplace, Chicago-Kent College of Law

Joseph A. McCartin, Professor, Georgetown University and Executive Director, Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor

Kimberly Phillips-Fein, Associate Professor, Gallatin School, New York University

Marilyn Sneiderman, Professor and Director, Center for Innovation in Worker
Organization, Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations

Ben Gordon, National Staff, Metro IAF and former CSEA Director of Organizing

Alan Lubin, Vice President Emeritus, New York State United Teachers

Terry Melvin, President, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and NYS AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer

Ashwini Sukthankar, Secretary/Treasurer, International Commission for Labor Rights A5
 Duke University: Adjunct Faculty Reach Tentative Agreement
According to media reports, Duke University and its adjunct faculty, represented by SEIU, have reached a tentative agreement for a first contract.  The agreement is for three years and includes varying percentage pay raises for adjunct faculty in Applied Music (46%), adjunct faculty paid on a course basis (14%), and salaried adjunct faculty (12%).  The agreement also includes multi-year appointments, compensation for canceled courses, and a new fund for professional development.

The Duke agreement is a significant development in higher education collective bargaining history.  The last time faculty at a private sector institution in a Southern state successfully unionized was in 1992 when AAUP became the exclusive representative of a faculty unit at Edward Waters College, which is an HBCU in Florida. A6 
St. Charles Community College: First Adjunct Faculty Contract Ratified
The adjunct faculty at St. Charles Community College, who are represented by SEIU, ratified a first contract, which was approved by the community college's Board of Trustees on July 17, 2017.  In April 2017, SEIU also successfully negotiated a first contract on behalf of adjunct faculty at Saint Louis University.   A7
Harvard College: RD Ballot and Objections Decision Challenged 
Harvard College, NLRB Case No. 01-RC-186442

On August 4, 2017, Harvard College filed a Request for Review with the NLRB Board seeking to challenge a  July 7, 2017 decision by NLRB Region 1 Director John J. Walsh, Jr, which affirmed a Hearing Officer's report and recommendations concerning challenged ballots and objections filed by Harvard College and the Harvard Graduate Students Union-UAW (HGSU-UAW) following a representation election held on November 16 an 17, 2016.. The college also requested a stay of proceedings pending the outcome if its Request for Review. 

The at-issue unit includes approximately 3,556 student employees. The tally of ballots demonstrated that 1,272 student employees voted in favor of HGSU-UAW representation, an 1,456 employees voted against.  There were an additional 314 challenged ballots.

In his report, the Hearing Officer overruled challenges to ballots by 195 eligible employees, and further found that Harvard University failed to substantially comply with its legal obligations because the voting list it provided failed to include 535 eligible employees.  The Hearing Officer recommended that the remaining 195 challenged ballots be counted, and that a new election be held if the additional ballots do not result in the UAW "receiving a majority of valid votes counted plus challenged ballots." 

The November , 16-17, 2016 election was conducted following a stipulated election agreement that defined the Harvard student employee unit in the following manner:

All students enrolled in Harvard degree programs employed by the Employer who provide instructional services at Harvard University, including graduate and undergraduate Teaching Fellows (teaching assistants, teaching fellows, course assistants); and all students enrolled in Harvard degree programs (other than undergraduate students at Harvard College) employed by the Employer who serve as Research Assistants (regardless of funding sources, including those compensated through Training Grants). This unit includes students employed by Harvard University and enrolled in the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Business School, the Division of Continuing Education, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Harvard Law School, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Medical School, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Harvard College, excluding all undergraduate students serving as research assistants, and all other employees, guards and supervisors as defined in the Act. A8
Broward College: SEIU Files Petition to Represent Adjunct Faculty
Broward College, Florida PERC Case No. RC-2017-022

On July 28, 2017, SEIU filed a representation petition with the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission seeking to represent a unit of approximately 1,272 part-time non-track-faculty at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale. 

The following is the proposed faculty unit set forth in the petition:

Included:  All part-time non-tenure track faculty employed by Broward College at all of its campuses and locations including: A. Hugh Adams Centeral Campus, Broward College Online Campus, Judson A. Samuels South Campus, Aviation Annex, North Campus, Coral Springs Academic Center, Miramar Town Center, Pines Center, Willis Holcombe Center, Weston Center, Cypress Creek Administrative Center, Miramar West Center, and its Tigertail Lake Center; and teaching at least one college-credit-bearing and/or non-college-credit-bearing course.

Excluded:  All other faculty, including tenured and tenure-track faculty, full-time faculty, visiting or contract faculty, faculty who are currently part of an existing bargaining unit, Associate Professor, Senior Professor, Instructor, Independent Study/Internship-Adjunct, Donated or Stacked Class Instructors, all administrators (including academic advisors, deans, assistants to deans, provosts, directors, coordinators, and department chairs), student services advising generalists, athletic coaches, and all other employees who are not compensate additionally for teaching, managers, confidential employees, and supervisors. A9
CSU Fullerton: Arbitrator Reinstates Terminated Anthropology Lecturer

California Faculty Association and California State University, Fullerton  


On July 9, 2017 an arbitrator issued an opinion and award overturning the termination of a lecturer in the Anthropology Department at California State University, Fullerton, and converting the disciplinary penalty to a two-month suspension.  The arbitrator found that the university lacked just cause to terminate the lecturer, who has been teaching there for 20 years.

The disciplinary action resulted from the lecturer's conduct while he walked along a student march by College Republicans, who were conducting a counter-demonstration to a rally and march by the Students for Justice in Palestine on campus on February 8, 2017.  The arbitrator found that the lecturer, after inadvertently falling, had attempted to grab a sign held by a College Republican counter-demonstrator, and used his hand to make physical contact with another counter-demonstrator. The arbitrator found that the lecturer had not attempted to punch the counter-demonstrator and that there was no evidence that the lecturer intended to interfere with the rights of the counter-demonstrators, although his conduct had a limited impact on those rights.


In concluding that the appropriate penalty for the misconduct was a two-month suspension, the arbitrator considered the lecturer's work history over the past two decades, and the fact that he had been provoked by the taunts and ridicule of the College Republicans.A10

 Manhattan College: ULP Filed Alleging Failure to Bargain
  Manhattan College, NLRB Case Nos. 02-CA-201623 and  02-RC-023543

On June 30, 2017, the Manhattan College Adjunct Faculty Union, NYSUT, AFT-NEA, filed a unfair labor practice charge alleging that the Manhattan College has refused to bargain following the May 15, 2017 tally of ballots finding 59 faculty voted in favor of representation and 46 voted against. The election stemmed from a representation petition that was filed on October 5, 2010.

The probable outcome of the unfair labor practice charge will set the stage for Manhattan College to continue its seven-year litigation strategy aimed at defeating the faculty unionization effort.  It is likely that following a finding that it engaged in an unfair labor practice by refusing to bargain, Manhattan College will challenge ithe NLRB's assertion of jurisdiction in federal courts on the grounds that the school is a religiously-affiliated institution.  

The continuing effort by Manhattan College to thwart the faculty unionization effort comes at a time when Pope Francis has expressed his views about the importance and relevance of unions in contemporary times.

During a speech before a conference  of the Confederation of Trade Unions in Italy (Confederazione Italiana Sindacati Lavoratori, CISL) on June 28, 2017, Pope Francis stated:

I would like to emphasize two epochal challenges that today the trade unions movement must face and defeat if it is to continue to perform its essential role for the common good.

The first is prophecy, and regards the very nature itself of the union, its truest vocation. The union is an expression of the prophetic profile of society. The union is born and reborn every time that, like the biblical prophets, it gives a voice to those who have none, denounces those who would "sell the needy for a pair of sandals" (cf. Amos 2: 6), unmasks the powerful who trample the rights of the most vulnerable workers, defends the cause of the foreigner, the least, the discarded. As shown by the great tradition of the CISL, the unions movement has its great seasons when it is prophecy. But in our advanced capitalist societies, the union risks losing its prophetic nature, and becoming too similar to the institutions and powers that it should instead criticize. The union, with the passing of time, has ended up resembling politics, or rather, political parties, their language, their style. And instead, if this typical and diverse dimension is lacking, its action within businesses will lose strength and effectiveness. This is prophecy.

The second challenge is innovation. Prophets are sentinels, who watch from their lookout. The union too must keep vigil over the walls of the city of work, like a watchman who guards and protects those who are inside the city of labour, but also guarding and protecting those who are outside the walls. The union does not carry out its essential function of social innovation if it watches over only those who are inside, if it protects the rights only of those who already work or who are retired. This must be done, but it is half of your work. Your vocation is also to protect those who do not yet have rights, those excluded from work who are also excluded from rights and democracy. A11
Chapman Univ.: Union Certified to Represent Theater Employees
Chapman University, NLRB Case No. 21-RC-201994

On August 1, 2017, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local 504, AFL-CIO was certified by the NLRB as the exclusive representative of a unit of 10 employees working at Chapman University's Musco Center for the Arts in Los Angeles.  The certification was issued following a tally of ballots demonstrating that 8 employees voted in favor of representation and 2 against. 

The following is the composition of the at-issue unit:

Included: Al regular full-time, regular part-time, and temporary employees performing services for the Musco Center for the Arts who report to a Musco Center supervisor (Executive Director Musco Center, Senior Director, Associate Director Programming/Operations, Manager Production, and/or Technical Supervisor) and (a) handle stage or theatrical accessories, wardrobe, scenery, properties, screens, drops, travelers, masking, platforms, risers, turntables, traps, lifts, rigging, rope access, stage floors, railings, automation, theatrical scaffolding, and the like; (b) load or unload trucks or other vehicles used to take any theatrical or stage electrical, video or sound equipment, scenery, stage materials, properties, chairs, stands, racks, musical instruments or other like items pertaining to the Center in or out of the premises; or (c) load in, install, programs, operates, loads out any other electrical, electronic, mechanical and/or electromechanical, video or audio recording, projection, archival equipment or devices which interface with or control theatrical equipment at any indoor or outdoor stage, venue or studio at the Musco Center for the Arts, including employees with the following position descriptions: Stage Technician (I, II, or III), Master Electrician, Engineer Audio Video IT. Also eligible to vote are all employees in the unit who have worked an average of four (4) hours or more per week during the 13 weeks immediately preceding the eligibility date for the election.  
Excluded: Performers, independent contractors hired to install outdoor rented equipment, employees who report to a College of Performing Arts ("CoPA") supervisor or a Facilities Management Department supervisor, faculty, students, student workers, ushers, interns, volunteers, donors, ticket sellers, ticket takers, marketing employees, guards, office clerical employees, managerial employees, and supervisors as defined in the Act including employees with the following position descriptions: Founding Dean Musco Center, Dean College of Performing Arts, Director of Productions College of Performing Arts, Executive Director Musco Center, Associate Director Programming/Operations, Manager Production, Assistant to Dean of Musco Center, Administrative/Stage Door Coordinator, Director Patron Services, Assistant Manager Patron Services, Ticketing Rep, Head Usher , Costume Shop Technician, Assistant Manager Costume Shop, Manager Costume Shop, Facility Set-up Technician (I, II or III), Theater Technician (I, II, or III), Theatre Technical Supervisor.A12
 SUNY Research Foundation: Professionals Vote Down Unionization
Research Foundation for the State University of New York,  
NLRB Case No. 29-RC-201813 
On July 17, 2017, a   notice was issued by NLRB Region 2 scheduling on-site elections on July 27, 2017 concerning a representation petition filed by the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) seeking to represent full-time and part-time teachers, other professionals, and non-professionals employed by the SUNY Research Foundation at its facility in Brooklyn, New York.  

The tally of ballots demonstrates that of the 22 teachers and other professionals in Unit A, 10 voted against representation, and 9 voted in favor.  However, of the 23 non-professionals in Unit B, 17 voted in favor of UFT representation, and 6 voted against.  

As a result, UFT was certified by the NLRB to represent the non-professional unit but not the professional unit. 

The following are the descriptions of the at-issue units:

Professional Unit, Unit A:  

Included: All full-time and regular part-time Teachers, Speech Therapists, Physical
Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, Service Coordinators, and IEP
Coordinators employed by the Employer at its facility located at 670 Parkside Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY, employed during the payroll period ending July 7, 2017.

Excluded: All other employees including the School Secretary, guards and
supervisors as defined in the Act, and all non-professional employees as set forth below in or excluded from Unit B below.

Non-Professional Unit, Unit B

Included: All full-time and regular part time Teachers Assistants, Teachers Aides,
Clerks, Clerical Specialists, Office Aides, Project Staff Assistants, employed by the
Employer at its facility located at 670 Parkside Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, employed during the payroll period ending July 7, 2017.

Excluded: All other employees, including, the School Secretary, all professional
employees as set forth in or excluded from Unit A above, guards, and supervisors as
defined in the Act. A13
University of Pittsburgh: Graduate Students Seek to Unionize
According to media reports, graduate student employees are in the midst of an organizing drive at the University of Pittsburgh. The graduate student employees are gathering a showing of interest in support of a petition to be filed with the Pennsylvania :Labor Relations Board.
The USW affiliate, Pitt Graduate Student Union has a website, which includes a post setting forth 10 facts concerning their campaign.  The first of those facts is that the graduate student organizing effort is distinct from the on-going faculty union organizing effort at the university. The institution has approximately 5,000 full-time and part-time faculty, and 3,000 graduate student employees. USW currently represents adjunct faculty at Roger Morris University and Point Park University. 
In response to the graduate student organizing effort, the University of Pittsburgh has established a Graduate Student Unionization website, and Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson circulated a letter opposing the unionization effort stating she had "serious concerns that a graduate student union would not be in the best interests of either our students or the broader University."  Graduate student union activist Beth Shaaban responded with a published letter, challenging the university's portrayal of the unionization effort as being conducted by a third party rather than by the graduate student employees. A14
California State University, Chico: ULP Reinstated by California PERB
California State University, Chico, California PERB Case No. 2533-H

On June 28, 2017, the California Public Employment Relations Board (CPERB) reinstated an unfair labor practice charge filed by the California State University Employees Union, and remanded the case to the agency's General Counsel for the issuance of a complaint. 

The charge alleges that the California State University, Chico violated its duty to bargaining in good faith under California's Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act when it unilaterally changed the shift of a bargaining unit employee. CPERB found that the charge alleged sufficient facts, which if proven, would demonstrate that the institution's unilateral action had a generalized or continued impact on the terms and conditions of employment of unit members.  In particular, CPERB referenced the allegation that the university had told CSUEU in 2015 that it had the right to make similar involuntary shift changes without providing notice or meeting and conferring with the union. A15
 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education: ULP Dismissed
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, Case No. PERA-C-15-240-E

On June 20, 2017, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) affirmed the dismissal of an unfair labor practice charge filed by the Association of Pennsylvania State College an University Faculties, which challenged the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education's refusal to bargain concerning the implementation of enhanced background checks and reporting of arrests by bargaining unit member who have contact with minors.  PLRB concluded that the background clearances and reporting requirements for bargaining unit employees are managerial prerogatives, and therefore the university system did not have an obligation to bargaining its decision.A16
Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy

Journal of CBA Logo  

The Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy (JCBA) is the National Center's peer review journal co-edited by Jeffrey Cross, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Eastern Illinois University, and Steve Hicks, Professor of English, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.  
We encourage scholars, practitioners, and graduate students in the fields of collective bargaining, labor representation, labor relations, and labor history to submit articles for potential publication in future JCBA volumes.  
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