Monday, February 25, 2013

Why Decertify AFMSU?

Dear Colleagues, 

The petition to vote to decertify AFMSU's representation of tenured/tenure-track (TT) faculty has been approved by the Montana Board of Personnel Appeals (BOPA). This election will not affect the non-tenure-track (NTT) faculty. The NTT unit will continue with collective bargaining through AFMSU. 

The election will be conducted by mail. Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters on March 27, and will be counted by BOPA on April 16.

Many TT faculty believe that the almost-three year experiment with unionization has failed, and that faculty unionization is detrimental to MSU’s teaching and research quality.  These concerns led us to petition for a decertification vote to determine the majority view.

We, the petitioners, ask that you consider the important issues presented below. Each issue includes a link to a more in-depth discussion and appropriate documentation.

AFMSU is claiming a slight majority membership, though our research shows otherwise. We know that many union members are opposed to the union. The election will be very close. Please consider the issues and vote.

Respectfully yours, 

The Petitioners

Bennett Link, Professor, Department of Physics
Randy Babbitt, Professor, Department of Physics
Gary Brester, Professor, Agricultural Economics and Economics
F. William Brown, Professor, College of Business

For a list of faculty who publicly support decertification, click HERE.

For background and union terminology, click here.   

The Issues

Click on any item below to see related text and documentation. The full document is here. 
  1. AFMSU is unable to negotiate significant improvements in raises, and delayed the raises that we were scheduled to receive.
  2. AFMSU has made no significant progress on improving faculty benefits.
  3. AFMSU is an organization that is undemocratic, unrepresentative, and non-transparent. 
  4. Over 90% of dues and fees leave campus.
  5. Union “gains” have been insignificant or non-existent.
  6. The union misrepresents its accomplishments.
  7. Unionization creates an adversarial relationship between faculty and administration, and among faculty.
  8. Unionization of research-active universities reduces quality.
  9. This decertification election is our only opportunity to decertify AFMSU's representation of TT faculty.
  10. There is a viable alternative to AFMSU: faculty governance.