The University Record, March 22, 1993

Question of vote on faculty union at U-M-Flint goes to MERC for resolution

The question of a future vote on whether University of Michigan-Flint faculty will be represented by a union is in the hands of the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC).

Differences between the University and the Flint chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) on the make-up of a potential bargaining unit for Flint campus faculty have been reviewed over the past six months by a MERC hearing officer in hearings and written presentations by both sides. That process officially concluded March 15.

The issue now awaits resolution by MERC. The University and the AAUP filed official briefs on the case last Monday with Administrative Law Judge James P. Kurtz who will make a recommendation to the three-member commission. MERC customarily decides such issues within six to nine months, according to Colleen Dolan-Greene, assistant vice president for academic affairs-personnel.

She explains that the issue at this time is the composition of the AAUP’s proposed Flint-only bargaining unit.

Dolan-Greene says the University has three main objections to the composition of the bargaining unit:

1. As with all other University unions, any faculty bargaining unit should be Universitywide, not just at one campus.

2. The bargaining unit should include only tenure-track faculty and not temporary faculty such as lecturers.

3. Chairpersons, whom the University considers as supervisors, should be not be included.

The Flint AAUP chapter petitioned MERC May 2, 1992, to hold an election to certify a bargaining unit in Flint after submitting signature cards of more than 30 percent of the proposed membership. When the U-M did not agree with the AAUP-defined bargaining unit, Kurtz began hearings on the matter Sept. 2.