FACULTY COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS UNDER ATTACK – Action Needed Now!

Republican legislators in the Ohio House of Representatives added language to state budget bill (House Bill 64) that would prohibit faculty members at Ohio public colleges and universities from belonging to a union if we also exercise any of our traditional faculty responsibilities for curriculum oversight and shared governance. The language of the bill says that faculty duties make us “managers” or “supervisors” and therefore not eligible for union representation.

The language of HB 64 is exactly the same as the language prohibiting faculty unions that appeared in Senate Bill 5 a few years ago. When Senate Bill 5 went to Ohio voters,  it was soundly defeated, with 62% of Ohioans voting against these and other restrictions on public employee unions.

The House Finance Committee is expected to vote on HB 64 on Monday at 3 PM. It’s crucial that faculty members, and all citizens who support our right to belong to unions, get in touch with key legislators by email message or phone immediately, with strong but polite messages asking them to vote “no.”

Here are the phone numbers of the key representatives we must contact, and suggested talking points.

Ryan Smith (Chair, House Finance Committee)
Phone (614) 466-1366
email: rep93@ohiohouse.gov
Twitter handle: @OhioRepSmith

Kirk Schuring (Vice Chair, House Finance Committee)
Phone (614) 752-2438
email: rep48@ohiohouse.gov

Ron Maag (District 62)
Phone (614) 644-6023
email: rep62@ohiohouse.gov
Twitter handle: @RonMaag

Cliff Rosenberger, Speaker of the House
Phone (614) 466-3506
email: rep91@ohiohouse.gov

Louis Terhar (District 30)
Phone (614) 466-8258
email: rep30@ohiohouse.gov

Louis Blessing (District 29)
Phone (614) 466-9091
email: rep29@ohiohouse.gov

Talking Points:

  • The anti-union language of HB 64 is the same as Senate Bill 5, which 62% of Ohio voters rejected just two years ago.
  • Faculty salaries are not a factor in the rising cost of college. (This is the reason Republicans in the House have given for adding the HB 64 anti-union language.)
  • The real problem is “administrative bloat,” excessive administrative salaries, high-priced consultants, and misplaced priorities.
  • House Bill 64 is an attempt to distract from the real problem and stop faculty from serving as “watchdogs” on administration while we carry out our appropriate role as care-takers for curriculum and students (including the work faculty do as program chairs, which would be exclusively administrative work if the HB 64 language goes into effect).
  • (For other talking points, refer to the Ohio Conference AAUP website at http://ocaaup.org. Also, there’s a sample message posted on the Chapter Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/CinStateAAUP.)

Once you’ve made your phone call or sent your email message, it is crucial that you convince at least one friend or family member to do the same! Legislators need to know that faculty are not alone, and that “average citizens” care about this issue, too.

Thank you again for your help in fighting back this attack on faculty unions in Ohio.

Local and National Media Roundup on HB 64

Academe Blog (April 14)
http://academeblog.org/2015/04/14/sneak-attack-on-faculty-collective-bargaining-rights-in-ohio/

Insider Higher Ed (April 17)
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/04/17/ohio-bill-would-effectively-bar-faculty-unions-public-colleges

Toledo Blade (April 17)
http://www.toledoblade.com/Politics/2015/04/17/House-budget-targets-unions-state-professors.html

Cleveland Plain Dealer (April 17)
http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2015/04/college_faculty_oppose_anti-un.html

WCPO (ABC – Channel 9 – Cincinnati metro area) (April 17) [requires payment to read the full story]
http://www.wcpo.com/news/education/ohio-college-professors-could-be-stripped-of-union-bargaining-rights-under-state-budget-proposall

Academe Blog (April 17)
http://academeblog.org/2015/04/16/ocaaup-testimony-on-legislation-stripping-ohio-faculty-of-collective-bargaining-rights/

Columbus Dispatch (Apr 18)
http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/04/17/anti-union-add-ons-irk-democrats.html

Posted in HB 64, News