Association established by profs for bargaining talks (Davis Enterprise, April 24, 1979)
UC Davis professors agreed Thursday to form a faculty association similar to the one at UC Berkeley for the purpose of collective bargaining. Political Science professor Edward Costantini said "it only makes sense" to form an association now that the Berman Bill, effective July 1, will allow faculty for the first time to meet and confer over working conditions and salaries.
A group of 50 at his invitation remained informally after a meeting of the Academic Senate to form a committee to make bylaws, elect officers and lay the groundwork to get the faculty organized.
The decision to "get things going" as Costantini said, came following the release of a report by the Davis Division of the Academic Senate's Committee on Faculty Welfare, which found no reason for the faculty not to organize.
Under the present plan, Davis' faculty association will be like the parent group formed at UC Berkeley, which six other UC campuses followed. It remains independent from the Academic Senate, but can be tied with a systemwide council the other six UC Faculty Associations have joined, to express local interests should collective bargaining occur.
Already the seven campus strong systemwide council has made a dent through its lobbying power in Sacramento, Costantini said.
However, Costantini said, having a faculty association does not exclude the possibility of Davis professors teaming up with one or several unions to serve as its collective bargaining agent.
"The faculty association idea makes sense if we are going to go and make use of the potential presented under the Berman bill. It is probably the most practical alternative," he said.
Within the next three weeks, a group of 20 professors plan to meet, he said, to form the association into which all faculty members have been invited to join.
Until now, UC Davis and UC San Diego have been the only campuses hanging back from organizing, which, according to the Davis welfare committee report, is jeopardizing its chances of getting local representation from the systemwide council linked to the remaining seven campuses.
Costantini is certain members of the Academic Senate will join a faculty association if one gets off the ground.
"The faculty is not exactly excited about having to bargain in a labor-management situation, but if our interests are to be served in some way in the long term, a faculty association would be the most likely mechanism," he said.
"Somewhere you have to get it started; somebody has to do it, and I think the Academic Senate will join it if it gets off the ground."
Davis Faculty Assocation Organized (Press release excerpts, May 22, 1979):
The organization of a Davis Faculty Association was today announced. Formal creation of the group occurred when by-laws were adopted and interim officers elected by the twenty-seven faculty members who have been serving as the Association's Organizing Committee. . . .
The Davis campus now joins seven other campuses of the University of California where comparable groups have been formed. Systemwide, the associations have approximately 1500 members. The major impetus for the Davis effort has come from the passage of the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act--the Berman Act--which permits UC faculty to engage in collective bargaining.
According to a statement issued by the Association's Organizing Commitee, "If the Davis faculty chooses to bargain collectively under the provisions of the Berman Act, it is our expectation that this organization will serve as the bargaining agent. However, should it choose not to bargain, the Association will nonetheless importantly serve the faculty, as local associations already have done on other campuses, e.g., in securing improvement in faculty insurance programs and in obtaining modifications in the salary comparison methodology used by the California Postsecondary Education Commission.
"The Davis Associaion," the statement continues, "will join with the other members of the Council of UC Faculty Associations in retaining a lobbyist in Sacramento and in otherwise seeking to affect public policy as it relates to the welfare of the faculty. Further, it will join the university administrtion in seeking better to inform members of the unviersity community and the public at large of matters relevant to their common interest in assuring the continued preeminence of the University of California. . . .
The newly-elected officers of the Davis Faculty Association are: Ed
Costantini (Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science),
Chair; Sylvia Lane (Professor of Agricultural Economics and former Chair
of the Academic Senate's Committee on Faculty Welfare), Vice Chair; Lyn
Lofland (Associate Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Academic Senate's
commitee on Faculty Welfare), Secretary; and Norman Akesson (Professor
of Agricultural Engineering and Member of the Executive Committee of the
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences), Treasurer. Other members
of the Organizing Commitee include: Eric Conn (Biochemistry), Alan
Elms (Psychology), Richard W. Gable (Political Science), Thomas Hanzo (English),
Wayne Harsh (English), Peter Hays (English), Trimble Hedges (Agricultural
Economics), Milton Hildebrand (Zoology), William J. Knox (Physics), Norma
Lang (Botany), John Lofland (Sociology), Mendel Mazelis (Food Science &
Technology), Robert M. Murphey (Psychology), Lloyd Musolf (Political Science
and Institute of Governmental Afffairs), Michael O'Brien (Agricultural
Engineering), Donald S. Rothchild (Political Science), Boris Ruebner (Medical
Pathology), Julius Sassenrath (Education), Randolph Siverson (Political
Science), Paul K. Stumpf (Biochemistry), Makepeace U. Tsao (Surgery), John
Vohs (Rhetoric), and John Walton (Sociology). . . .
The Riverside, Los Angeles and Berkeley campuses have all defeated propositions for collective bargaining in very close votes and the faculty at the Santa Cruz campus narrowly approved their faculty association as their collective bargaining representatives.
Davis Faculty Association President Ed Costantini said he thinks it's "amazing" the votes were so close. He said given what he feels is extensive faculty input into UC governance, and a fairly responsive administration, there isn't really an urgent need at the moment for the faculty to present a unified front for bargaining.
After a February vote at UCLA in which 51.4 percent of the votes were cast against union representation, UC President David S. Saxon said he was pleased by the results.
"Although it is clear the faculty have some real concerns, I believe the vote demonstrates that there is confidence in the present method of shared governance of the university," he said.
Increasing budgetary constraints both within the sate and the federal government may be one reason the votes have been so close, however, Costantini said.
"In times of those kinds of budgetary problems, there's going to be a greater and greater scramble for what resources are available," said Costantini. "Those who are organized will be marginally better off than those who aren't, and I think we're beginning to see the signs of that now with all these close votes."
One reason Costantini thinks UC faculty might be resisting moves to collective bargaining is a result "of what we are: professionals. And it's hard to accept an approach normally associated with non-professionals."
Even without faculty approval of the Factulty Association as a bargaining unit, Costantini said he feels the association provides the faculty with leverage in dealing with the university administration.
Because the administration does not favor an organized faculty, the
faculty associations systemwide can threaten to organize in exchange for
some administrative concessions. . . . .
Rose, a seven-year lobbyist for the UC Faculty Association, fought exclusively for UC faculty pay raises during Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.'s recent batle with the Legislature over state employee salary hikes.
She said support of the UC Regents, labor groups and UC administrators was invaluable in the legislative override of the governor's veto of a 14.5 percent raise for faculty.
However, she said, such a unified stance on issues crucial to UC professors
might not always be maintained and collective bargaining could help guarantee
greater negotiating strength. . . . . .