The United Faculty of the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) has recently completed its first union recertification election with 85 percent faculty support after a 2017 bill significantly changed Iowa’s collective bargaining law for state employees.
The 2017 bill passed by the Iowa House and Senate limited the required and permissive matters of bargaining as well as terminated payroll deduction and requires recertification of the bargaining unit a year before the expiration of each bargaining agreement, according to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) press release.
“The results of the election show that repeated attempts to dismantle unions in Iowa have failed. In fact, they have made us stronger,” said Dr. Carissa Froyum, associate professor of sociology at UNI and United Faculty’s vice president. “We are more organized than ever, and we won’t back down. Our union is unique because it brings together tenured faculty, probationary faculty, and non-tenure-track faculty. That combination allows us to address workplace issues for all faculty at UNI.”
Established in 1976, the chapter is the only negotiating mediator for the UNI faculty and is affiliated with the AAUP, according to the press release.
The election occurred from October 15-29 and was conducted electronically.
The United Faculty chapter at UNI offers several benefits for all types of faculty, and has been advocating for voting rights for non-tenure track faculty, said Forum.
“We have done a salary equity study, which led to real change for all faculty. And we have worked collaboratively with the administration to advance faculty governance on campus,” she said. “After the recertification vote, everyone knows that we have our faculty’s back, and they have ours.”