Wednesday, June 4, 2003

UC faculty union votes to join new federation

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Full-time faculty at the University of Cincinnati hope a vote to affiliate with the American Federation of Teachers union will put them in a better position to bargain with their own institution and provide more firepower at the statehouse.

Members of UC's chapter of the American Association of University Professors announced this week that members voted 240-163 in favor of affiliating with the federation, which represents more college and university faculty than any other union in the country.

In the local vote, there were eight unsigned ballots, seven that were illegible and two abstentions.

"They want to be able to deal with the administration with a stronger hand," John Brackett, president of the AAUP chapter at UC, said of the faculty.

Current budget negotiations have underscored the need for a stronger voice for higher education dollars, he said, and this affiliation might provide that.

"Hopefully, in lobbying, we can argue for more favorable treatment of higher education in Columbus," he said.

More than 60 percent of the 670 dues-paying AAUP members cast ballots on the issue.

The group still must gain approval from the national AAUP organization at a meeting in Washington, D.C., next week because full-time faculty at UC will affiliate with both groups.

"We are really looking forward to working with the chapter, providing support in a couple of areas particularly," said Tom Mooney, president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers. "One is to help them prepare and mobilize for the next round of collective bargaining, and to reach out to the community.

"Those are things we know how to do and have skilled people available to help with."


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