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Faculty Fight Back:. Building a Faculty Union at BGSU Amy Fry Libraries Fight Back! ALA 2011 Annual Conference 27 June 2011. Librarians with faculty status at U.S. research libraries.

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Faculty Fight Back:

Building a Faculty Union at BGSU

Amy Fry

Libraries Fight Back!

ALA 2011 Annual Conference

27 June 2011


Librarians with faculty status at U.S. research libraries

Source: Mary Bolin, “Librarian Status at US Research Universities: Extending the Typology.” Journal of Academic Librarianship 34.5 (2008): 416-424.


Governance at U.S. academic institutions

Source: Rachel Applegate, “Who Benefits? Unionization and Academic Libraries and Librarians.” Library Quarterly 79.4 (2009): 443-463.


Librarians as represented faculty at Ohio public universities

Sources: AAUP, NCES, institutional websites, and the 2008-09 Ohio Universities Faculty Salary Survey (The Ohio State University, February 2009).


BGSU Unionization Timeline

1978 Faculty consider collective bargaining and complete signature card campaign

Jan. 1979 Vote for collective bargaining fails

1992 Faculty reconsider collective bargaining

Feb. 1994 Vote for collective bargaining fails

Jun. 2008 Faculty gather to discuss grievances; possibility of unionization again raised

Jun. 2008 Faculty present then-provost Cheryl Baugher with petition

Jul. 2008 Faculty Senate and administration meet to discuss grievances

Oct. 2008 AAUP forum for faculty held on BGSU campus

Dec. 2008 Provost Baugher resigns

Spring 2009 BGSU-FA begins signature card campaign

Apr. 2009 Faculty Senate committee releases Faculty Welfare report showing BGSU lags behind in-state peer institutions in terms of salary, benefits, etc.

Fall 2009 BGSU-FA sponsors presentations on healthcare, finances and shared governance for faculty

Jan. 2010 Over half of eligible faculty have signed cards in support of representation under the BGSU-FA

Oct. 2010 Vote on collective bargaining passes

Nov. 2010 Volunteer Steering Committee formed; most colleges (including the library) represented. Bargaining research committees formed and begin research.

Dec. 2010 Board of Trustees significantly alters Academic Charter

Feb. 2011 Librarians meet with Steve Aby, faculty librarian at the unionized University of Akron, to discuss shared governance issues

Feb. 2011 BGSU-FA Constitution ratified by membership

Mar. 2011 SB5 passes Ohio House & Senate and is signed into lawMar. 2011 BGSU-FA holds teach-in about SB5

May 2011 Bargaining Council holds initial meeting

Jun. 2011 Bargaining Council passes first bargaining proposals

Jun 15, 2011: Proposed first day of contract negotiations (rejected by administration)


BGSU signature card.

Dr. Geoff Howes, then Vice President of the BGSU-FA, signing a card in 2009.


Vote for Unionization (October 2010)

Vote was 391-293 in favor of unionization, with over 80% of eligible faculty voting.


Bargaining Research Subcommittees:

  • Benefits
  • Family (spousal accommodations, family/medical leave, flexible tenure clocks)
  • Governance (academic freedom regarding curricular issues, new program development, graduate education)
  • Grievance (discrimination, wrongful termination)
  • Non-tenure-track faculty
  • Salary
  • Bargaining Council:
  • Charge: to determine the professional preferences of the Full Members and formulate the draft bargaining proposals.
  • Composition: The Bargaining Council consists of the voting members of the Executive Committee and elected representatives of the eight colleges. Each of these will have one representative on the Bargaining Council. Colleges with forty or more full members may have one additional representative for each forty full members.

Academic Charter Changes (December 2010)

Example of changes made to the BGSU Academic Charter by the Board of Trustees, issued December 10, 2010. This is a page from Section IV.C (“Faculty Senate Authority Responsibilities and Functions”): “Policies and Standards Framing Authority of the Senate.”


SB5 Teach-In at BGSU (March 2011)

Left: Flyer showing BGSU rally against SB5.

Below: Ethnic Studies Professor Emily Lutensky speaking about recent anti-union legislation and labor protests in Wisconsin.

librarian issues leading to unionization
Librarian issues leading to unionization
  • Furloughs (2009-2010): instituted without faculty input; affected library but not regular teaching faculty
  • Elimination of 10-month contract option for librarians (2009)
  • Start date for compensation changes for librarians moved from July (start of fiscal year/new contract year) to September (2009)