Push for union spans campuses

by Jim Martyka

The faculty at the University’s Crookston and Morris campuses have now joined the effort to stop the Board of Regents’ tenure proposal.
More than half the faculty members on both campuses signed enough union cards to temporarily halt the regents from imposing their recently proposed reforms.
According to a statement from the state’s Bureau of Mediation Services Wednesday, the two campuses will now be affiliated with Outstate Instructional Bargaining Unit No. 9, which includes the Duluth campus.
Mediation service unit director Josh Tilsen announced the cease-and-desist order during a meeting between faculty representatives and University lawyers Wednesday. Tilsen also said the mediation service is working on a schedule for a Unit No. 9 union election for Crookston and Morris, as well as obtaining a list of eligible voters on each campus from University lawyers.
Both parties also discussed the placement of the Duluth Medical School in a bargaining unit. The University lawyers stated they felt the school should be included in Unit No. 8, along with the Twin Cities campus, because it are part of the Academic Health Center, most of which is on the Twin Cities campus.
Twin Cities faculty members said they felt the school should be included in a Unit No. 9 election. The rest of the Duluth campus is already unionized.
Linda Krug of the University of Minnesota Education Association, which is the bargaining unit for the Duluth campus, said she too felt the school should be placed in Unit No. 9.
Tilsen explained that since there was a disagreement, he would look at both sides before the mediation service made a decision on where to include the school.
The faculty members and lawyers also discussed a proposed list of eligible voters for Unit No. 8, which includes the Twin Cities campus and the Academic Health Center.
The list, which was drafted by the University lawyers, excludes all faculty members that have the word “Chair,” “Head” or “Director” in their titles, as well as any member with dual appointments — for example, a professor who also holds an administrative position.
But, University Attorney Dan Wachter emphasized that this list is not final.
The list, which is a second draft, was given to the faculty members to review.
University lawyers provided faculty with a first draft on Sept. 25, but faculty members did not offer any amendments to the document.
Both parties are scheduled to meet again with the representatives of the mediation service on Oct. 21.