Bloomington faculty votes overwhelmingly in favor of graduate student organizing efforts – The Bloomingtonian
The following press release was sent to The Bloomingtonian on Wednesday:
“American Association of University Teachers – Indiana University Bloomington Chapter
Contact: Benjamin Robinson, AAUP-IUB, President Cell: 812-360-1506 Email: [email protected]
May 24, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bloomington faculty votes overwhelmingly in favor of graduate student organizing efforts in historic full-faculty vote – results announced May 23
An electronic vote of all Bloomington faculty expressed overwhelming support for the efforts of Indiana University graduate students to gain union recognition.
Between April 13 and the end of the spring semester, graduate student employees at Indiana University in Bloomington, organized with the United Electrical Workers, went on strike for recognition of the campus. The strike was temporarily suspended May 10 for the summer, with plans for broader and deeper participation should the strike resume in the fall. Bloomington campus faculty have been galvanized to support graduate workers by the anti-union response of the campus administration which has refused any dialogue with union representatives, the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition-United Electrical Workers (IGWC-UE). . The standoff between graduate school organizers and administration has led to growing faculty involvement in the spring 2022 semester. A resolution calling on the provost and administration to engage in dialogue with the union was passed by a roll-call vote at a special meeting of the Bloomington Faculty Council (BFC) on the first day of the strike. With no response to the resolution after two weeks, members of the Graduate Faculty Council and the Bloomington Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) called an emergency faculty town hall meeting at which the faculty held a petition calling on the BFC Executive Committee to convene, in accordance with the rules of the faculty constitution, a special meeting of the Bloomington faculty, the first since 2005. The petition, which had four times the required number of signatories, proposed resolutions that would discuss, among other things: union recognition by the administration; faculty authority over appointments of associate instructors; no reprisals against graduate students for their participation in the strike; and a possible vote of no confidence against the provost for failure to hire graduate employees. The executive committee of the faculty council convened the meeting of May 10and, the day after the campus opened. Despite the late date, the meeting, held in IU’s cavernous auditorium, drew more than 722 faculty members. Although the point of censure was removed, two resolutions from the mayoralty petition were on the agenda, one reaffirming faculty authority over appointments of graduate instructors and emphasizing the existing due process protections (and to demand an immediate end to non-renewals) and the other calling on the board and provost to put in place the voluntary union recognition framework and begin immediate negotiations. At the historic meeting on May 10, the articles favorable to the administration were either withdrawn or defeated, and the two resolutions supporting the graduate employees passed 683-39 and 623-75, respectively. Although there was a quorum for the conduct of business, at least 800 faculty members had to be present to ratify the resolutions, so they sent out all faculty for an electronic vote the following week. The results, reported by the BFC on Monday May 23, confirmed the faculty’s clear desire to see the union recognized, with the first resolution passed with a vote of 1,605 in favor against 308 against (83.8% yes) and the second adopted with 1404 against 508 against (73.4% yes). Faculty expect clear steps from the board and senior management to establish a framework for IU graduate employees to elect union representation for collective bargaining. The IGWC-EU has indicated that its members are ready to strike in September unless the Bloomington administration demonstrates that it is willing to work with them to improve higher education at Indiana University. .
For more information, contact Benjamin Robinson: 812-360-1506″