January 29, 2008

Circuit court affirms Pace University adjunct faculty

Source: NYSUT News Wire
Caption: File photo: NYSUT activists show support for Pace University adjunct faculty and staff in August 2007. Photo by Miller Photography.

Leaders of NYSUT's adjunct faculty local union at Pace University feel vindicated following a federal circuit court decision that means the bargaining unit will expand from 750 members to about 1,100.

The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals, Washington, D.C. Circuit, affirmed the National Labor Relations Board's original certification of this bargaining unit and the inclusion of adjuncts who were not eligible to vote in the 2004 representation election. The decision upholds an earlier ruling by the National Labor Relations Board that clarified the Labor Board's original certification order for the Union of Adjunct Faculty at Pace.

The certification order included in the bargaining unit all adjuncts who taught at least three credit hours and/or 45 hours in a semester. In a prior ruling, the NLRB had limited the eligibility to vote to those adjuncts who were employed at the time, and had taught at least one additional prior semester at Pace. After the election, the university appealed the certification of adjuncts, arguing that the bargaining unit should have included only those adjuncts eligible to vote.

"The decision by Pace to appeal this very reasonable ruling - which had a clear precedent in other recent NLRB decisions - wasted precious time," said NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi. "The time spent by both sides fighting this in court could have been put to far better use at the bargaining table. Now, NYSUT and our sisters and brothers on the adjunct faculty at Pace look forward to putting this chapter behind us, and moving on toward a fair contract."

"I'm elated that the court rendered this decision, and that we can hopefully go forward in bargaining and make real progress on the real issues of salary, job security and benefits," Pawlowski said.

Contract talks began in 2004, but slowed to a crawl as a result of the legal dispute. The next bargaining session is scheduled for Feb. 7.