News

Teachers make progress in unionizing

William Pitts

Staff Writer

The teachers of Goucher College have made significant progress in their recent efforts to unionize, with the college’s decision to allow the teachers to conduct their own secret ballot election on the matter. The National Labor Relations Board will mail the ballots on November 25, with voting to be completed on December 8. All it takes is a majority “yes” vote for the teachers’ union to be formed. All undergraduate contingent faculty members, those who work either part-time or full time, are eligible to vote. If the resolution passes, the next step for the union will be to elect a temporary bargaining committee to assist in negotiating the new contract. First, the committee will survey all faculty members on what they want out of their new contract and use the results as a baseline for their negotiations. Once the committee and the administration agree to a proposal for the contract, the union will have final say in whether to accept the terms. “We bargain our own contract and we decide what to bargain over!” declares a letter that will soon be published on the faculty’s website at goucherfacultyunion.org. “No one will pay any dues until a majority of people here at Goucher vote yes on a contract.” School administration’s position on the matter is, according to Sociology assistant professor Jeffrey Dowd, “…still one of (albeit informal) neutrality.” Goucher president Jose Bowen has come under fire recently from pro-union posters that have been hung all over campus. The issue revolves around his hiring of a lawyer (whose identity was not disclosed) from Jackson-Lewis, a law firm that is known for taking a strict anti-union position in these matters. However, according to Dowd, Bowen has gone on record saying that he merely hired the lawyer because of his previous experience working with Goucher, and that his affiliation with Jackson-Lewis had no influence on his decision. Students were invited to give their thoughts on the unionization at a meeting in Meyerhoff Arts Center on November 12.

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