SEIU Targeting Colleges and Universities: Malika Sen of the College Times writes that the Service Employees Industrial Union (SEIU) is putting forth efforts to unionize adjunct professors across the country. Their current focus, however, seems to be on the Boston metro area. On April 13, Adjunct Action, an initiative of the SEIU, held a symposium on the benefits of unionizing that was attended by over 100 adjunct faculty from more than 20 schools in the area.
“The next step is forming organizing committees both on the campuses where adjunct faculty are most interested in moving forward and also across the metropolitan area,” [an SEIU spokesperson] said.
Interestingly, the SEIU has succeeded in bringing a unionization effort to a vote at Georgetown University. Ballots were mailed out to adjunct professors on April 12, with the National Labor Relations Board expected to tally the votes on May 3, 2013. We will certainly keep you posted as to the election's result.
Sanipac, Union Reach Agreement on New Contract: Jeff Wright of the Register-Guard reports that a majority of union-represented workers at Sanipac in Oregon have agreed to a new contract with the company, averting a possible strike. The contract lasts for four years and is retroactive to July 1 of last year. Sanipac had been preparing for the worst because Teamsters representatives had been intimating that a strike was being considered.
Both sides expressed relief that the negotiations ended successfully. Workers will receive a $2.00 raise over the life of the contract and will also receive increases in medical and pension benefits. Most importantly, there will not be an interruption in trash-hauling services for residents served by Sanipac.
Strongsville School Board Files ULP Charges Against Teachers: Cory Shaffer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Strongsville, Ohio school board has accused the Strongsville Education Association (SEA), the union representing teachers in the long-running strike, of direct dealing in contravention of the Ohio Labor Code.
In the release school board President David Frazee said the charges go on to ask the State Employment Relations Board to order the SEA to cease and desist "from engaging in unlawful direct dealing and from interfering with the BOE’s selection of bargaining representatives."
A union spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. The strike, now in its eighth week, shows no signs of abating anytime soon. Both sides have dug in their heels and have each filed multiple unfair labor practice charges against each other. We will certainly keep you updated as this situation is very fluid.