By Brian Sherrill, Staff Writer
On October 31, the Curators of the UM System approved a process and provisions for a faculty union election; consequently, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has reacted with a statement, released on November 2, claiming, “The entire process was designed to defeat any attempt by the University’s faculty to gain a voice at work.”
The process that was approved requires that all employees excluded from the previous petition, including the faculty in the Colleges of Business, Nursing, and Optometry, be given the ability to participate in the collective bargaining process.
SEIU will have to start their precedent organizing efforts all over again from scratch. They again will need to authorize at least a 30 percent showing of interest among all current faculty members on campus and send a second petition to the Vice President of Human Resources (VPHR). In their statement, the SEIU said, “Unfortunately, the establishment of these rules is just another means for UMSL to ensure that issues of fairness and equity to faculty are not addressed on campus.”
The process, issued by Chancellor Thomas George, states that the bargaining unit will include adjunct, non-tenure track, tenure track, and tenured faculty. To avoid conflicts of interest, the unit will exclude supervisory employees.
Upon receiving a new petition, the VPHR will engage an independent third-party in order to verify and validate the signatures. If the signatures are validated, then the VPHR will set a date for the election to take place to determine whether the majority of employees desire to be represented by the petitioning labor organization.