Faculty is a step closer to health center’s fate

by Jim Martyka

While Law School faculty filed a petition for collective bargaining Thursday, University and faculty lawyers discussed who among Academic Health Center faculty members could vote to include the health center with the rest of the Twin Cities campus in a future union election.
After several meetings during the last month, the lawyers were able to provide a tentative list of eligible voters they agreed upon.
But both University and faculty representatives said they still had to confirm the list’s accuracy. The list of eligible voters includes almost all faculty members who do not have “Chair” or “Head” in their official titles.
University Faculty Alliance representative Steve Gordon argued at the meeting that they have had trouble obtaining information on the professional status of certain faculty members. But University lawyers said they are doing everything they can to provide this information.
Josh Tilsen, a Bureau of Mediation Services representative who mediated the meeting, told both sides the list must be finalized by next Wednesday because then they have to issue the election order. At that time, any faculty members the sides can’t agree upon will be allowed to vote. Their votes will then be sequestered until after the election, when the mediation service would hold hearings to see if the votes should count.
On-site elections for the Duluth health center and the Twin Cities health center will be held on Nov. 20 and 21 respectively. After each election the votes will be counted by the mediation service, and if more than half vote “yes”, the centers will be included with their respective collective bargaining units in a future union election.
The Twin Cities health center would be included in Unit 8, which consists of the rest of the Twin Cities campus. The Duluth health center would be included in Unit 9, which includes the Crookston and Morris campuses. The rest of the Duluth campus is already unionized and will not be included in upcoming union elections.