OP/ED

A Goucher student against the faculty union

Derek Grimaldi

Contributor

Over the past couple of weeks, I have witnessed students asking other students on Van Meter Highway to sign the petition to unionize non-tenure track Faculty at Goucher College. Honestly, I do not support the unionization of Goucher faculty. Now, I am a union member myself. I understand what you all are feeling. However, the work I do is more physical and labor-intensive, and thus we need to have a union. We, as a union, work long hours with expensive equipment, and we put our lives on the line doing that. However, when it comes to attempting to unionize college faculty is where I draw the line. Unions are an easy way to let bad professors get away without accountability, meaning they cannot be fired. Everyone under a union receives equal treatment, which is unfair since all professors are not the same. There are professors, both here at Goucher and from my hometown, which just should not teach. If you want to know the truth, I think this will put Goucher further behind than we already are. Goucher is already in a huge deficit. President Bowen wrote a message on the Goucher website regarding union organizing. He mentions that when you are in a union, “you are authorizing a large, national union – of which faculty comprise a very small percentage – to represent you in your employment relationship with the college.” Another point President Bowen brought up in his message is that you are obligated to pay dues if Goucher faculty becomes unionized. The dues “are in the range of $26 per paycheck. Those dues are not returned to Goucher, but are paid in part to SEIU Local 500, where they are used to pay the salaries of union employees.” $26 may not seem like a lot of money, but when you look at the bigger picture, it is a very steep cost. What does Goucher get? We get nothing in return. Lastly, if the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) is passed at Goucher, it will demand that every Goucher faculty member pay dues. Failure to pay those dues will result in a faculty member fired from the college. It bothers me to see that many good professors at this school could potentially be let go because they refuse to comply with demands of SEIU. I value the education I have at Goucher, and I give my utmost respect and very thankful towards the faculty here for providing it to me. This is why I am against unionizing faculty.

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Categories: OP/ED, Opinion

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