HARRISBURG – Yesterday, the state Senate in Ohio passed legislation that would do away with the collective bargaining rights of university faculty at the public universities there. The president of the association that represents over 6,000 faculty and coaches at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities has serious concerns about both the process involved in creating the act and the definitions of faculty work found in the legislation.
The legislation passed yesterday by a 17-16 vote in the Ohio Senate, not only severely restricts the collective bargaining rights of public employees, but goes farther with university faculty. By designating faculty as “management level employees,” the legislation essentially strips faculty at public institutions of their right to organize and collectively bargain.
”It does not come as a surprise that the Ohio legislature was taking up a ‘Wisconsin-like’ bill,” commented Steve Hicks, President of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, “but the sudden appearance of a clause that makes faculty faux-managers and therefore ineligible for collective bargaining undermines both the legislative process and redefines, incorrectly and abhorrently, the role faculty play on a university campus.”
“It’s unfair for a legislative body to propose and pass amendments without notice or public debate on the same day,” Hicks continued. “And to change the very definition of faculty work without opportunity for hearings on the nature of that work is the epitome of poor governing. It reeks of a political agenda that would be cleaned by the light of day.”
As threats to collective bargaining spread last week, APSCUF members participated in rallies in Scranton and Harrisburg to support Wisconsin’s public employees’, while Shippensburg University faculty and coaches held their own rally of solidarity on Thursday.