What happens when the threat of permanence is no more?
On March 12, 2015, it was announced that NMC faculty had surprisingly decided to subject itself to union dues and contracts negotiated by third parties on their behalf.
TRAVERSE CITY –The Michigan Employment Relations Commission has certified the election and a majority of eligible faculty who voted have decided that all non-supervisory, full-time and part-time appointed faculty will be in a collective bargaining unit represented by the Michigan Education Association.
Northwestern Michigan College will begin negotiations with the Michigan Education Association for an agreement that will cover wages, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment for this group.
“Northwestern Michigan College will begin negotiations with the Michigan Education Association.” Check.
Part of the discussion as Freedom To Work was being debated, was the fact that union participation in states with right to work actually increased. Some of us made the point that making a union accountable hardly means its demise. Though it is still early, we might look at this small college in relatively conservative Northern surroundings and note the timing of this development.
Though causality can be debated, the question remains: “When was the last time the MEA picked up a new bargaining account in Michigan?” Is it possible it might have been a harder task when participation and forced cost to the employees was mandatory? The numbers to form the unit were high:
NMC’s non-supervising faculty overwhelmingly voted to form a union during a secret-ballot election that concluded Wednesday. Sixty-five faculty members cast ‘yes’ votes in the Michigan Employment Relation Commission election, compared to 16 ‘no’ votes, according to Michigan Employment Relations Commission records. One vote was not counted because of a spoiled ballot.
In other news, tuition increases on coming.