No. 2 Fall 2008
In this Issue:
Understanding the Contract
Family Leave & Daycare
New, Improved STJ-AAUP Website for Membership & Information
Much to the puzzlement of new faculty, the bargaining
The local AAUP chapter was founded at
Historically, the FA saw itself as a fierce advocate for faculty salaries and benefits at the bargaining table. Although the AAUP chapter was also motivated principally by a desire to improve pay and benefits, it has also been concerned with national developments in faculty governance, advocacy, and the profession as a whole. Over the past decades, if the AAUP has been faulted for lacking a confrontational attitude, the FA has been accused of not always picking its battles carefully.
The following narrative is based on Joseph Scimecca
& Roland Damiano's 1968 Crisis at St. John=s,
Fred Hueppeís 1973 essay in Faculty Unions and Collective Bargaining,
and Barbara Morris=s 1977 dissertation, To Define a Catholic
University. It is worth reminding readers who may be new to
The 1966 Strike
Woefully underpaid, the faculty formed a local chapter of the AAUP in 1961. St. Johnís President Flynn refused to recognize this organization, and so did his successor, Father Burke, when it again petitioned for recognition in 1963. The chapter met off campus and its officers were from the arts and sciences. Faculty in the AAUP tended to be older, moderate in their views, and accustomed to Vincentian authority on campus. Their meetings numbered about 100, and they were particularly interested in the improvement of salaries, benefits, and faculty governance.
Educated in the crucible of trade union activity in
So by the end of 1964, there were two unions on campus with very different philosophies of activism. Both moderates and radicals agreed, however, that the university needed to develop stronger faculty governance over curriculum and better pay. For example, prior to 1967 the university senate had only an advisory role to an Executive Committee of five Vincentians on the Board of Trustees.
Although the university attempted to quell faculty unrest in 1965 by initiating a self-study for modernization, a distrust of the administration had formed even among moderate faculty. The self-study council completed several reports but adjourned in turmoil and without conclusion in August 1965.
After both unions voted to picket classes, newly appointed President Cahill and the Board dismissed approximately 22 faculty in December of 1965, and another 11 had their contracts non-renewed the following June. These terminated faculty, largely UFCT members from Philosophy and English, were fired without hearing or charges, contrary to the university's own statutes at the time.
In response, the unions began a semester-long strike in January 1966 with significant faculty support. Figures vary, but between 80 and 180 faculty (of about 516 total) boycotted their classes.
After a prompt investigation, the national AAUP
Over the next four years, the university made significant concessions to the faculty, such as granting the senate more power to determine curriculum. It was rumored, however, that the administration also began to defuse faculty opposition from within by packing the local AAUP chapter with administration-friendly Vincentian members.
In 1970, when faculty were asked which union they wanted to represent them for collective bargaining, both the UFCT and AAUP had acquired negative connotations. Many older faculty were angry about having their campus censured by the national AAUP, feeling that the AAUP had impugned them personally. Other faculty felt that the local AAUP chapter had too many Vincentian members enrolled in it, and they thought it might really turn out to be a Trojan horse gifted to them by the administration. Unfortunately for the UFCT, since its dismissed leaders had lost their appeals in arbitration, few wanted to be associated with their fate. The FA was thus born as a local alternative to the AAUP and the UFCT.
Two referenda were held with none of the 3 union
choices receiving a clear majority. After the second referendum, the president
approved a joint bargaining system of the FA and the AAUP (the UFCT having
thrown its supporters to the FA after the first referendum). In 1970,
Although the union movement on campus was painful,
the pay and benefits
Because the initial motives for two separate unions have diminished over time, some ask why the two have not joined. The simple answer is that any change would require formal review by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which could result in the decertification of both unions.
In 1980, the Supreme Court ruled that fulltime
Private colleges that unionized before the Yeshiva
decision live with the anxiety that their administrations might ask their
certification be reviewed by National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). This fear
is legitimate. Of the 88 private university faculty unions that existed prior
to Yeshiva, 26 discontinued collective bargaining in the following 10 years
(Saltzman 1998; Douglas).
over the past 20 years some schools have nonetheless had their unions
certified by the NLRB, such as the University of Great Falls Montana
(1996), and Manhattan College in 1999 ("Faculty Sidestep"). The NLRB
reviews schools on a case-by-case basis, looking at a variety of faculty
and administrative factors. At
But in practical terms, it seems unlikely that the
administration would seek to dismantle the collective bargaining system at
At stake is far more than administrators getting mad
at union leaders over tough issues in the contract: the 1966 strike was so
catastrophic, and left such lasting scars that the university only began to
recover in the 1990s. Attacking the unions at
Annuziato, Frank. "Unionization Among College Faculty,"
Euben, Donna R. "Academic Labor Unions: The Legal Landscape" Academe (Jan/Feb 2001)
"Faculty Sidestep the Yeshiva Decision" Academe (Jan/Feb 2001)
Saltzman, Gregory M. "Higher Education Collective Bargaining and the Law." NEA Almanac of Higher Education (2001): 45-58. <http://www.albion.edu/econ/saltzman/Labor_law,_2001_NEA_Almanac.pdf>
---. "Legal Regulation of Collective Bargaining in Colleges and Universities." NEA Almanac of Higher Education (1998): 45-63
During the school year 2007-8, the AAUP local chapter election was successfully challenged by some of the defeated candidates. Although the losing slate was unable to get re-elected in two consecutive elections, the controversy helped to make sure that the election process would be better handled in the future. Improved membership lists for the nominations, and a mailed-ballot system overseen by the American Arbitration Association were adopted.
In late May 2007, Frank Camerano, acting as recording
secretary on behalf of 7 aggrieved members of the AAUP, wrote to the incumbent
AAUP leaders complaining of several violations in the conduct of the
After campus visits and review, the state labor investigator, Mr. Henry Fleary, concluded that the election had been improperly conducted. The US Department of Labor report, issued on October 10, found 8 violations, principally that some ineligible members had been allowed to vote, and that incumbent AAUP officers had handled the election paperwork.
At stake was not simply whether violations had
occurred (many elections have technical violations of protocol)---it was whether
the violations likely changed the outcome of the election. Mr. Fleary asked
Leading up to the March 2008 re-run election, the opposition candidates headed by Frank Camerano lobbied very hard with direct mailings and strong attacks against the incumbent leadership. The Camerano slate ran on a platform that included prohibiting non-union members from voting on the contract, and trying to merge the two unions. At the same time, they sought endorsement from the Faculty Association leaders, telling them that if they did not get FA leadership support, they would run against them in their own upcoming election. The FA leaders chose not to support either slate. The Camerano slate was defeated by a narrow margin in the re-run AAUP election. Two months later, the normal annual election was run according to rules agreed upon in consultation with the Department of Labor. The outcome was as follows:
Frank LeVeness 84
Frank Camerano 50
Anthony Sabino 51
John Greg 90
Andrew Russakoff 44
Bill DiFazio 82
Joyce Furfero 52
Joan DeBello 56
Exec Council--Professional Studies
Melvin Berkowitz 47
John Spiridakis unopposed
Joan DíAndrea unopposed
Frank Barile unopposed
Granville Ganter 74
Alison Hyslop 53
Joe Giacalone unopposed
Exec Council At Large (3)
Bill Keogan 77
Ed Beckenstein 76
Sreedhar Kavil 46
Greivance Officers (4)
John Greg 91
Theresa Bartz 82
Joyce Furfero 54
Tom Giordano 52
Anthony Sabino 4 6
Ralph Stephani 40
Collective Bargaining Congress
Frank LeVeness 80
Frank Camerano 54
New chapter elections of the AAUP will henceforth be conducted by a mailed ballot; more reliable voter lists can now be obtained by from the national AAUP office; incumbent officers will not do any of the work of the election nominating committee.
At the invitation of members of
The petitioners, including Frank Camerano, Tom Giordano, and others, were granted two hours for the state chapter representatives to hear their complaints. The petitioners wanted to merge the two unions on campus (FA and AAUP); they wanted to disallow nonunion members from voting on the contract; they felt that the present AAUP members had not worked within their own constitution, faulting regular treasury reports & chapter meetings.
The petitioners engaged in several prickly exchanges with Bill DiFazio, who spoke on behalf of the incumbent chapter administration. DiFazio said that the election and treasury irregularities were being worked out to the satisfaction of the national AAUP office, and that the petitioners' idea of prohibiting all faculty from voting on the contract was illegal.
The state representatives said they did not want to referee disagreements between the two groups. Rather, they wanted to offer their help to strengthen the local chapter. In particular, they offered advice on two points: increasing membership and managing grievances.
First, they said that any change to the FA-AAUP structure in the present climate of NLRB rulings could decertify both unions on campus. They recommended keeping the present two-union structure, and suggested working a standard fee into the next contract where full-time faculty would pay combined dues for both unions, or otherwise donate that money to a neutral recipient, such as a library fund. In comparison with most other union dues, the combined dues of $280 would be a small amount, and both unions would benefit equally.
And second, they felt that the grievance procedure, where the presidents of both the FA and AAUP must agree on a case for action, was awkward and could use improvement.
One of the peculiarities of the AAUP national
membership is that members who support local chapters are not actually part of
the AAUP unless they pay those state and national dues as well. The dues are
$180 combined for full time faculty (part- time is $46) who reside in
Chapter supporters often ask why they have to pay national dues. After all, the Faculty Association currently charges $50 dollars a year to vote in their elections.
The answer is that AAUP requires national membership
as a means of swelling its ranks. As with many unions, membership is down since
the 1970s. But the salaries and benefits faculty currently have at