President Stephen Beal on Service Employees International Union Local 1021's Recent Request for a Representation Election Among CCA Adjuncts and Lecturers
July 25, 2014
On Tuesday, July 15, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a labor-management regulatory agency of the federal government, informed me in a letter that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 filed a petition asking for an election among our lecturers and our adjunct faculty.
Local 1021 has petitioned the NLRB to hold the election within a matter of weeks, before fall 2014 classes begin.
With an NLRB election, if Local 1021 receives a majority of votes from those eligible faculty who choose to vote, then Local 1021 would be authorized to speak and negotiate on behalf of all lecturers and adjuncts at CCA, regardless of how any individual voted or whether he or she even cast a ballot.
If Local 1021 is certified to represent CCA adjuncts and lecturers, this representation would be without time limit.
As you may know, SEIU recently launched a national campaign, Adjunct Action, with a goal of unionizing adjunct faculty at colleges and universities in several major urban areas.
Within the last couple of months, the adjunct instructors at Mills College and San Francisco Art Institute voted to be represented by Local 1021, but to date, there is little information about their bargaining negotiations, and no one knows whether Local 1021 will effectively address adjunct faculty concerns at those schools. At other colleges, adjunct faculty voted against representation by the SEIU.
Labor unions, rightly, have been foundational in our country’s history, and SEIU is a large nationwide union with millions of members, mostly in the service, nonprofessional sector of the economy. Whether Local 1021 will effectively represent faculty at private colleges in the Bay Area is not yet known.
At this time, I simply do not have enough information to form an opinion about whether or not Local 1021 representation would benefit our faculty community.
After completing contract negotiations at the other colleges, Local 1021 will have a record of evidence upon which the CCA community can assess this union’s skills and effectiveness. It is my preference that an election at CCA would take place following the completion of those negotiations.
Regardless of the ultimate timing of our election, I will advocate for an open and deliberative process, one that promotes an informed electorate and underscores the principles of academic freedom.
I also will urge all eligible voters to cast their ballots, and I strongly encourage everyone directly impacted by this very important long-term decision to participate. It should be our collective goal to exceed a 90 percent turnout of voters.
Once the timeline and election process have been set by the NLRB, the administration will provide timely information to all of you.
I look forward to a collegial and productive process.
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