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Faculty Forum Papers



Norman E. Pawlowski
Food Science

March 2, 1983


Collective bargaining has been an issue on the tongues of OSU's faculty for nearly ten years. Those in favor have the support of several outside organizations who would like to add OSU to their empire and clout. We are told that if we are unhappy with collective bargaining, "it would not require more effort than signing cards for another election" to terminate it. Will our representatives give us the same support and effort in disbanning collective bargaining as they did in forming it? Who will print the cards? Who will push colleagues to circulate and sign them? It is not a simple task.

The horse helped build America. For this we are grateful. We still give our thanks and respect for what the horse has done for us. But most families no longer own a horse. Its task accomplished, why should we support and keep horses? Likewise for collective bargaining. Why should a union be given lifetime tenure on the day of its inception? If the union is confident that it can serve us well and will continue to serve us well, let it prove this claim. Let it say, "you will not be sorry you voted for the union." Let it write into the election statement, "continued existence of the union will be voted upon by the faculty every five years." Skeptical faculty might be persuaded to vote to give collective bargaining a try if such an escape guarantee were in the election statement. This would prevent the union from becoming the "dominant partner of the marriage."

Is an escape clause fair to the union? Is it fair to the staff employed by the union? One could just as well ask, is it fair to hire a consulting engineer for a limited period of time? Need we outline the analogy? OSU employs many research associates, who are on a fixed term appointment. These researchers are among the most productive people on campus. Yet, these faculty members cannot obtain tenure. If this is fair for our colleagues at home, it is certainly fair to a union.

Would a union be powerless if the "opposition" felt it could outlast the union? If the administration behaved in such a manner, the need for a union would be strengthened.

Voting in collective bargaining without an escape clause is, in my opinion, burning our bridges behind us. I see no need, nor advantage to burning bridges. Norman E. Pawlowski
Food Science
Opinions expressed by authors of Faculty Forum articles are not necessarily those of the OSU Faculty or Faculty Senate.