Category Archives: Unions

New Rule Proposed to Prevent Graduate Student Unions at Private Colleges

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proposed a new rule that would take away the right to unionize from graduate teaching and research assistants at private colleges. 

The proposed rule, which was published last month, determines that students who are working for their institutions in “connection with their studies,” such as teaching and research, are not employees. 

If implemented, the regulations would reverse a 2016 ruling that gave graduate assistants at private universities collective bargaining rights. However, private colleges will Read the rest

Public Support for Unions Continues to Surge

According to a recent press release from AFSCME, a new Gallup poll released last month reveals public support for labor unions reaching 64%—a near 50-year high. It is believed that the positive surge in approval demonstrates how effective unions have been in educating working people about the value and benefits of strong unions to their families and communities. The conversation related to unions will undoubtedly be a topic of discussion leading up to the 2020 elections.Read the rest

Negotiations Over Library Wages Stall in Washington

Fort Vancouver Regional Library (FVRL) in Vancouver, Washington and the Washington Public Employees Association (WPEA) bargaining unit that represents 163 FVRL non-management staff members are at an impasse in their wage negotiations, which began 15 months ago. According to this article, negotiations stalled after the WPEA filed a grievance in February against FVRL for failing to honor contract language. The WPEA also plans to file unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board, which will conduct Read the rest

Cuyahoga Falls Library, Workers at Odds Over New Union Contract

Last month (July 2019) union library workers gathered outside of the Cuyahoga Falls Library (Ohio) to picket for a three percent wage increase and protection of full-time positions. According to this article, the union (Professionals Guild of Ohio Council 3) distributed fliers that said:”$15 per hour is being nationally considered for minimum wage, the requested raises would keep many of our employees at less than $11.50 through 2020.” It was reported to have been a total of 10 bargaining Read the rest

Illinois Governor Bans Local ‘Right-to-Work’ Zones

Making good on his promise to put Springfield back on the side of working families, on April 12, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Collective Bargaining Freedom Act (SB 1474), protecting the right of employers, employees, and their labor organizations to collectively bargain and ensuring that the State of Illinois complies with the National Labor Relations Act. The bill bars local governments from establishing right-to-work zones. It was passed with strong bipartisan support in the House and Senate and Read the rest

University of California Libraries Reach Agreement with Union

According to Martin Brennan, copyright librarian at UCLA, contract negotiations between the University of California (UC) and the librarian’s union, the University Council-American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT) were successful. They agreed to a new salary structure which will see UC librarian salaries increase 22 – 26 % over the next five years, with the highest percentage gains going to assistant and associate librarians. Brennan stated that “our members have been struggling to afford California’s high cost of living, and Read the rest

Union Membership Isn’t Dropping as Predicted Post-Janus

Five months ago, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt what was seen as a massive blow to unions in Janus v. AFSCME. The justices banned the collection of union fees from public workers who receive union-negotiated benefits but choose not to belong to the union. The Supreme Court’s Janus ruling was expected to lead many members to drop out of unions. However, according to this article, union membership remains steady and is actually increasing in some places.Read the rest

Jennifer Dorning Becomes President of the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE), First Woman to Lead an AFL-CIO Trade Department

The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) announced at the end of August this year, that DPE Assistant to the President Jennifer Dorning will become its next president, succeeding Paul E. Almeida who retired last month. Dorning was unanimously elected by the DPE Executive Committee in April 2018 to carry out the remaining three years of Almeida’s term. Dorning took office on September 1, 2018, becoming the third president and the first woman to lead DPE in its 40-plus year Read the rest

Library Workers Vote to Unionize

Nyack (NY) Library workers voted July 24 to form a union affiliated with the New York State United Teachers. According to a recent article, the secret ballot election was overseen by the National Labor Relations Board. Library workers had hoped to forego the special election altogether. The 33-7 vote came the week after management had refused to recognize the Nyack Library Staff Association, organized in June.Read the rest

DPE at ALA Annual Conference

The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) traveled to Chicago several weeks ago to participate in the American Library Association’s (ALA) Annual Conference. DPE’s presence added a union voice to the gathering of nearly 20,000 library professionals. DPE’s Legislative and Outreach Director Michael Wasser co-chairs the AFL-CIO/ALA Labor Committee which sponsored a standing room only program entitled, New Normal: Libraries Navigate Uncertain Times during the ALA Annual Conference.… Read the rest