U should let the state do its job

Daily Editorial Board

It could be months before the University of Minnesota can vote on whether or not to unionize its faculty.
 
 
In January, faculty members filed to form a union after discussions dating back to 2014. But if the Minnesota Court of Appeals decides to consider an appeal filed by the University last week, a ruling would likely further delay the date of a union vote.
 
 
The school’s appeal challenges a decision by the Bureau of Mediation Services — a state office tasked with settling labor disputes — to hold hearings this spring in order to decide the classifications of positions such as senior lecturer and senior teaching specialist. 
 
 
The University has claimed that non-tenured faculty are a part of a professional and administrative unit and should be therefore excluded from a vote to unionize faculty. The school is legally disputing what it says is an attempt to add other campus employees to the faculty bargaining unit.
 
 
However, some have characterized the appeal as ingenuous and intentionally obstructionist.
 
 
The University is not only questioning the authority of the state mediation service to arbitrate the issue at hand. It also benefits from a delayed vote, which would likely decelerate the momentum of a union push, said John Budd, a labor studies professor.
 
 
Considering ongoing campus disputes over the ratio and status of tenure and non-tenure track faculty members, now seems like an appropriate time to tackle that question directly and a neutral state office is the best arbitrator.