Realities of Bargaining
Not necessarily. It is unknown what may result from the collective bargaining process. The University and the Union are negotiating in good faith over mandatory subjects of bargaining; however, that does not guarantee an agreement on anything. A union cannot unilaterally increase compensation. With the Union as your representative, you could earn more, less, or the same.
Like with pay and other subjects of collective bargaining, there’s no guarantee that benefits and work policies would improve with a union. What is known is that Loyola has created or expanded benefits and advantageous work policies in recent years. For full-time faculty, we have increased the University’s contributions to retirement plans. For part-time faculty, we continue to provide the faculty development and training opportunities to enhance their career development, and we carefully review their work hours and provide health benefits to all who qualify under the Affordable Care Act. Loyola’s offerings are competitive in the marketplace and demonstrate our commitment to, and appreciation for, our faculty.
Not necessarily. Real job security is determined by student demand, not the Union. SEIU-represented adjunct faculty at other universities that have been laid off or had their hours severely curtailed. We think that the best way to ensure faculty job security is to provide our students with the best educational experience possible and achieve our academic mission.
Some SEIU contracts include retirement and health benefit plans in which the employer contributes to a fund or plan. Others do not. Any such benefits would be subject to collective bargaining.
The Union is negotiating to influence policy and practices, but allocating funds to certain areas will not be within their power, unless of course the parties bargain and reach agreement. It is typical for the employer to maintain budgetary decision making under a union contract. For example, SEIU’s contract with American University states, “Management of the University is vested exclusively in the University. Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, the Union agrees that the University has the right to establish, plan, direct and control the University’s mission, programs, objectives, activities, resources, and priorities…”
In one sense, that is true. But you lose your individual voice when represented by a union. The Union is your “exclusive representative” with the University. That means that you have forfeited your right to speak for yourself on matters of pay, hours, and working conditions, and that the Union and its negotiating committee and stewards will speak for you.
Unionization will increase the University’s legal and administrative costs, and all costs are considered in decisions regarding tuition.
The successful removal of a union first requires 30 percent or more of the bargaining unit to sign a decertification petition and a majority of voters to vote in favor of decertification in a subsequent secret ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Faculty members who wish to oust an existing union must pay for legal counsel and the cost of securing signatures and campaigning—all within specific, tight timeframes. It is unlawful for the University to assist in these efforts.