Voting-list discussions continue

Jim Martyka

University lawyers and faculty representatives still can’t completely agree on who should be allowed to vote in a possible union election.
The two sides met Monday for the third time in a month to discuss voting eligibility for a University union election. Monday’s meeting focused on forming a list of eligible voters in the Academic Health Center to see if that unit will be included in a union election.
A final list of eligible voters from the rest of the University is also yet to be established.
Mediator Josh Tilsen of the state’s Bureau of Mediation Services said these talks are going too slowly. “We’re working in a small time frame,” he said. “We need to get these lists finalized.”
Tilsen said the two sides should be talking to each other about the lists outside of scheduled meetings. Lawyers from both sides agreed Monday to help each other obtain information they need in order to speed up the process.
Both sides have different lists of faculty members they feel should be allowed to vote. The biggest dispute between the two sides is whether or not those faculty with the title of “head” or “director” should be allowed. The University representatives do not want people holding such titles to be included, while faculty members do.
But both sides have said that these are not their final positions on the lists.
Tilsen told the parties the list of voters must be finished by the first week in November.
The on-site election will decide if the health center will be included with the Unit 8 faculty, which includes all of the Twin Cities faculty except the Law School. A date for this election has not yet been set.
At the time of the health center vote, the mediation service will only count those voters that both sides agree are eligible. The faculty members that are not agreed upon will have their votes sequestered. Tilsen said they will then see if the votes would make a difference in the outcome. If they don’t, they won’t be counted. If they do, then a hearing will be set up to see if they be included.
The two sides will continue to meet in groups to work on obtaining information and finalizing a list of eligible voters.
Earlier in the day, faculty members from Crookston and Morris, which is under Unit 9, developed a list with the University lawyers that had five faculty members the two sides couldn’t agree upon. Tilsen said the mediation service will sequester those votes during that election.