Meeting tells faculty about union issues

By Sandi Patyk

Another campaign to organize faculty in an attempt to determine if a union will become the collective bargaining agent for NIU professors will begin today.

Richard Beard, of NIU University Professionals of Illinois (UPI), said the organizational meeting, to be held at the DeKalb Holiday Inn, 1212 W. Lincoln Hwy., will inform faculty of the collective bargaining issues.

Three organizations competed last fall for faculty approval. The two unions were the NIU chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the NIU/UPI. The third organization, Professors for Shared Governance (PROF-S), lobbied for faculty votes for no-representation.

In a run-off election last year, faculty voted for no-representation. If either union had won, the Board of Regents and the state legislature would have lost jurisdiction concerning faculty contracts and salaries. The elected union would have negotiated its working conditions with the Regents and the legislature.

Last year’s AAUP President-elect James Miller said the organization’s aim in collective bargaining is “not primarily salary and benefits. Our aim is primarily the values of the profession.”

Last fall Beard said the UPI believes in collective bargaining because “at present there is a problem of no relationship between the faculty and the Board of Regents.” He said the shared governance system allows for little input from faculty.

PROF-S was founded in 1983 in respose to union claims that a collective bargaining agent can represent faculty better. Its members believe the union process is an approach to gain power rather than to solve problems.

T. Daniels Griffiths, PROF-S chairman last fall, said with unionization “there is contact only between the administration and the union. If you’re not a member, you don’t have much input or voice in the contract and you can lose representation instead of gain it.”