On February 2, the Miami University advocacy chapter of the AAUP announced at a membership meeting that they are launching a card campaign to unionize the faculty at the university.
The decision to initiate a union campaign was prompted by long-standing issues impacting working conditions, shared governance, academic freedom and compensation.
Cathy Wagner, President of Miami’s AAUP chapter and a lead organizer, noted that layoffs at the institution have disproportionately impacted instructional staff.
“We are deeply concerned about the huge drop in the number of full-time instructional staff from 2019-20 to 2020-21—almost 150 full-time, over 300 short-term overall—a decrease of 13%. That’s nearly double the drop for both non-instructional staff and management. Meanwhile, at the Oxford campus, enrollment of the first-year, incoming class grew by nearly 18%,” Wagner stated.
Organizers of the union drive will collect signed cards from faculty to submit to the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) to petition for a union election. An election will then take place among all eligible faculty of the proposed bargaining unit to decide whether a union is established with the AAUP as the exclusive bargaining representative.
If successful, Miami University would become the 11th four-year university in Ohio with a unionized faculty body, and the 16th AAUP bargaining unit in Ohio.
The Ohio Conference AAUP is fully supportive of this unionization effort. We believe that a collective bargaining agreement is the best way to protect and promote AAUP principles — namely academic freedom and shared governance — as well as ensure a commitment to the instructional mission of an institution.
Here is some news coverage of the announcement:
Cincinnati Enquirer: https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2022/02/02/miami-university-faculty-organizes-form-bargaining-union/9300376002/
Miami University Student Newspaper: https://www.miamistudent.net/article/2022/02/miami-faculty-announce-unionization-plan