MSU Faculty vot to join union.

A place to share your views and make your case on any issues fit to discuss.

Moderators: rtb, kmax, SonomaCat

Post Reply
User avatar
Billings_Griz
Golden Bobcat
Posts: 4637
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:01 pm
Location: Flatlands

MSU Faculty vot to join union.

Post by Billings_Griz » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:55 am

Damn, didn't know they weren't.



MSU faculty vote to join union

By The Associated Press
BOZEMAN - Montana State's faculty voted Tuesday to join a union for the first time in the university's history.

Tenured and tenure-track faculty voted 168 to 156 in favor of unionization - or 52 to 48 percent. Non-tenured and adjunct faculty, who don't have job security, voted 101 to 51 in favor - or 66 to 33 percent.

The tallies were announced by John Andrew of the state Board of Personnel Appeals, the election judge who counted the ballots in Helena.

About 85 percent of eligible voters in both groups voted to join the MEA-MFT, which represents 17,500 members in Montana, including school teachers and university faculty. MSU is the last campus in the state without a faculty union.
"Faculty feel the working environment could be improved," said Jim Robison-Cox, a math professor and a member of the committee that worked for two years to form a union. "We'd like to have more of a voice in how things are handled. ... I'm just pleased it has happened."

MSU President Geoff Gamble said before the votes were counted that he would be OK with the results, either way.

"It's a faculty issue," he said. "If they decide to organize, fine. We'll be happy to work with them."

MSU faculty overwhelmingly rejected unionization in 1978 and 1989. But the MEA-MFT, the state's largest union, has invested thousands of dollars and spent two years trying to organize the university.



User avatar
longhorn_22
Golden Bobcat
Posts: 7592
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 11:43 pm
Location: Billings/Bozeman

Re: MSU Faculty vot to join union.

Post by longhorn_22 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:42 am

As long as I'm not paying their attorney's fees and legal dues I suppose I'm ok with it.



WetWaderMT
BobcatNation Team Captain
Posts: 557
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 4:32 pm
Location: Big Sky Country

Re: MSU Faculty vot to join union.

Post by WetWaderMT » Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:56 am

longhorn_22 wrote:As long as I'm not paying their attorney's fees and legal dues I suppose I'm ok with it.
If you're a tax payer in the state you sure will be! Just adding another layer of costs that you know the professors and their union won't expect to pay for.



User avatar
longhorn_22
Golden Bobcat
Posts: 7592
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 11:43 pm
Location: Billings/Bozeman

Re: MSU Faculty vot to join union.

Post by longhorn_22 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:06 am

Yeah, I understand that, but I was referring to me as a student. It wouldn't have surprised me to see MSU implement a fee increase specifically to pay for those, however. :roll: :D



User avatar
catamaran
BobcatNation Hall of Famer
Posts: 3751
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:31 pm

Re: MSU Faculty vot to join union.

Post by catamaran » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:07 am

the faculty will have to pay union dues out of their paychecks..........just like any other organized labor


if you're keeping score, France gave us Burgundy wine, cigarettes, berets, B.O., brie and the Napoleon complex-Bill Simmons

gtapp
Golden Bobcat
Posts: 4042
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2004 2:09 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: MSU Faculty vot to join union.

Post by gtapp » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:21 pm

Unions are only BAD news. They add nothing and reduce both efficiency and effectiveness of everything they touch! Unions are getting weaker and smaller every year. Hopefully we can stamp them out completely in the next 10 years.


Gary Tapp
Graduated MSU 1981
Hamilton High School
Minneapolis, MN

User avatar
Ponycat
1st Team All-BobcatNation
Posts: 1885
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 3:52 pm

Re: MSU Faculty vot to join union.

Post by Ponycat » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:30 pm

gtapp wrote:Unions are only BAD news. They add nothing and reduce both efficiency and effectiveness of everything they touch! Unions are getting weaker and smaller every year. Hopefully we can stamp them out completely in the next 10 years.
As a card carrying member of a union I respectfully...AGREE


The devil made me do it the first time... the second time I done it on my own.

User avatar
SonomaCat
Moderator
Posts: 23938
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Contact:

Re: MSU Faculty vot to join union.

Post by SonomaCat » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:49 pm

Ponycat wrote:
gtapp wrote:Unions are only BAD news. They add nothing and reduce both efficiency and effectiveness of everything they touch! Unions are getting weaker and smaller every year. Hopefully we can stamp them out completely in the next 10 years.
As a card carrying member of a union I respectfully...AGREE
I disagree only to the extent that there have been times in our history where unions were necessary due to a huge imbalance in power between the employees and the companies (as a result of an economy that was way too skewed between the haves and have-nots in terms of education, access to information and power).

However, in this day and age, I really am not seeing much in terms of the continued need for unions. If they did go away, perhaps situations would arise again that made them necessary again, but I really don't think that would ever come to pass. Due to the swift flow of information and education in our society, most of the problems that led to the initial need for unions simply couldn't exist anymore. No one business entity will ever again be so powerful as to be able to unfairly exploit workers in this country on a large scale.

I could be wrong ... but this is just the way I see things shaping up right now. As of right now, I see unions existing more as a function of political power than as a necessary tool of employees.



User avatar
Cledus
BobcatNation Hall of Famer
Posts: 3885
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 3:18 pm
Location: Billings Heights

Re: MSU Faculty vot to join union.

Post by Cledus » Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:09 pm

Another point is that unions flourished during the industrial age. The opportunities for work are numerous nowadays as most of us are knowledge workers.

Something else that gets me fired up... unions should be for laborers, not people who have college educations. And in the case of MSU faculty - most presumably have doctorates.



User avatar
SonomaCat
Moderator
Posts: 23938
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Contact:

Re: MSU Faculty vot to join union.

Post by SonomaCat » Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:19 pm

Cledus wrote:Something else that gets me fired up... unions should be for laborers, not people who have college educations. And in the case of MSU faculty - most presumably have doctorates.
To play devil's advocate ... "union" is a bit of a semantic thing. Professional organizations (CPAs, Attorneys, Doctors, etc.) are arguably unions for all practical purposes. We allow or disallow entry into our club to artificially reduce the numbers of people who have to compete against for work, thus driving up our value. We assert (rightly) that our requirements for entry keep the quality of work higher than if anyone could take the job, and many unions make that same argument along similar lines (requiring experience, apprenticeship, degrees, etc.).

So in a roundabout way, lots of professionals are in organizations that are essentially unions ... we just don't do the collective bargaining part quite as explicitly.



User avatar
Billings_Griz
Golden Bobcat
Posts: 4637
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:01 pm
Location: Flatlands

Re: MSU Faculty vot to join union.

Post by Billings_Griz » Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:47 am

Bay Area Cat wrote:
Ponycat wrote:
gtapp wrote:Unions are only BAD news. They add nothing and reduce both efficiency and effectiveness of everything they touch! Unions are getting weaker and smaller every year. Hopefully we can stamp them out completely in the next 10 years.
As a card carrying member of a union I respectfully...AGREE
I disagree only to the extent that there have been times in our history where unions were necessary due to a huge imbalance in power between the employees and the companies (as a result of an economy that was way too skewed between the haves and have-nots in terms of education, access to information and power).

However, in this day and age, I really am not seeing much in terms of the continued need for unions. If they did go away, perhaps situations would arise again that made them necessary again, but I really don't think that would ever come to pass. Due to the swift flow of information and education in our society, most of the problems that led to the initial need for unions simply couldn't exist anymore. No one business entity will ever again be so powerful as to be able to unfairly exploit workers in this country on a large scale.

I could be wrong ... but this is just the way I see things shaping up right now. As of right now, I see unions existing more as a function of political power than as a necessary tool of employees.

IMHO, this is your best post ever. :wink: =D^ =D^ =D^ =D^



User avatar
D-Wreck
BobcatNation Team Captain
Posts: 453
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:23 am
Location: Bozeman, MT

Re: MSU Faculty vot to join union.

Post by D-Wreck » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:58 am

Considering it's a union job that put clothes on my back, a roof over my head, and food on our table for the first 17 years of my life and has helped put me through school, I'm hesitant to criticize organized labor. That being said however, I don't foresee faculty getting the benefit they are looking for by organizing.

I'm not sure if it was mentioned, but many if not most of the engineering faculty did not vote as they cannot join a union due to some membership with another professional organization. This only passed by 12 votes (168 to 156). I was speaking with President Gamble yesterday and he said that the actual organization will take one to two years before the union is even on it's feet and operable.


Image

User avatar
Cledus
BobcatNation Hall of Famer
Posts: 3885
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 3:18 pm
Location: Billings Heights

Re: MSU Faculty vot to join union.

Post by Cledus » Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:35 pm

Bay Area Cat wrote:
Cledus wrote:Something else that gets me fired up... unions should be for laborers, not people who have college educations. And in the case of MSU faculty - most presumably have doctorates.
To play devil's advocate ... "union" is a bit of a semantic thing. Professional organizations (CPAs, Attorneys, Doctors, etc.) are arguably unions for all practical purposes. We allow or disallow entry into our club to artificially reduce the numbers of people who have to compete against for work, thus driving up our value. We assert (rightly) that our requirements for entry keep the quality of work higher than if anyone could take the job, and many unions make that same argument along similar lines (requiring experience, apprenticeship, degrees, etc.).

So in a roundabout way, lots of professionals are in organizations that are essentially unions ... we just don't do the collective bargaining part quite as explicitly.
I'm not following this at all - it doesn't even make sense. I don't even think you believe this, you were just trying to take the other side of any argument because that's what you do.

The AICPA, AMA, and ABA were not formed to keep others out of the profession and artificially inflate our rates. Our rates are high because the workdays are long and there are significant personal sacrifices we make. A lot of people would say, "To hell with it, I don't need this s**t." These organizations' purposes are to police their profession and set professional standards by which the public can be protected.

The subject matter alone (accountants, legal, and medical) is difficult and when it comes to rendering professional opinions we need a framework to guide us, verify our independence, and make sure we have the public's interest in mind. The difficulty of the subject matter weeds out people. I remember after my first Accounting 101 test the teacher told the class, "If you got below a 50% you may want to consider dropping the class." The next day more than 1/3 of the class was gone. Half of my intermediate class quit and changed majors - yours was probably the same. I can assure you the Council of Elders at the AICPA were not sitting back in their white lab coats in New York doing the diabolical laugh. Also, why wouldn't the AICPA do more to reduce turnover in public accounting? If they're a union then they get the award for the worst one in history. I mean hell, the benefit plan sucked. The company match was only once per year and it took five years to vest 100%. I've audited a number of benefit plans and can tell you mine was one of the worst. That hardly seems fair considering my utilization during my time in public accounting was about 85%.

When was the last time you sought out a carpenter, miner, autoworker (you get the idea) and asked for an opinion that you relied, which had potential legal ramifications?

D-Wreck spoke of what unions have done for him and his family. That's what unions do - advocate on behalf of their members. Collective bargaining is the essence of unions.

I don't think you could find any professional who would call the AICPA, AMA, or ABA a union. The AICPA hasn't done anything for me and being a member hasn't provided me any kind of benefit. My former employer had hiring qualifications (3.25 gpa and a degree in accounting) that if you didn't meet you couldn't even be interviewed. Those qualifications weren't dictated by the AICPA - just baseline requirements decided by some suits on Park Avenue.

Maybe I should have posted how great unions are and how everyone in society benefits from them just to see what your response would have been.



User avatar
SonomaCat
Moderator
Posts: 23938
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Contact:

Re: MSU Faculty vot to join union.

Post by SonomaCat » Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:42 pm

I'm not really sure why you are thinking that what you are arguing about CPAs is really any different from, say, an electrical union, in the ways I described. We do different kinds of work that require different skill sets, but the idea is very similar. You seem to be hanging your hat on the fact that we issue opinions and deal with legal stuff, but if we set aside the type of work being done for a second, you will see that groups like the AICPA are indeed, in many respects, just like some unions to the extent that they are setting quality control standards that are used for marketing purposes to differentiate them from their competition that doesn't have that same designation.

Many unions do have quality control (akin to our CPA exam and experience requirements) to weed out those that don't meet the standards of the organization. Many unions do require people to pass tests and study under others for X number of years to assure a certain level of proficiency in the profession. So that way they are creating a competitve advantage for themselves and by limiting the competition that the general public views as being able to do the work.

For instance, if you are looking for an electrician, you probably would find a certain level of comfort if a guy was a member of an electrical union that you knew had high standards for admittance. That's their marketing pitch -- one that focuses on quality control.

The same is true for CPAs. We do work that anyone can do (although probably not very well, in most cases). But people know that if they see "CPA" behind our name, that we have jumped through various hoops that allow us to join an exclusive club.

This is really the only truly useful function of unions that I see ... the aspect that it is often a good way for a potential customer to gain assurance that the guy/gals knows what he's/she's doing. That doesn't mean that a non-union person couldn't do the job just as well or better (just like many non-CPAs can do projects better than a particular CPA), but it does provide a baseline of comfort to the customer.

And as a result of both professions being able to make entry in the profession difficult, we are able to reduce the numbers of people we are competing against (as the certification/union affiliation differentiates us as being uniquely qualified to do what we do), and we can therefore charge more than we would be able to otherwise. If high wages were the result of long hours and personal sacrifices alone, the people out picking strawberries in central Calfornia would be making a lot more than I do.

Unions also make their members' rates artificially higher by limiting their competition further by lobbying the government to pass laws and influence government agencies in ways that benefit them.

The AICPA obviously does the same (in ways that I'm sure I don't need to explain to you).

So many of the concepts are, indeed, the same. There is nothing at all wrong with that, but it is certainly helpful to understand these roles/intents of both unions and professional organizations.

By the way, the subject matter of many union-related professions is difficult as well. I would be clueless in doing any of their jobs, just as most of them would be clueless doing mine.



User avatar
SonomaCat
Moderator
Posts: 23938
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Contact:

Re: MSU Faculty vot to join union.

Post by SonomaCat » Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:55 pm

Cledus wrote: I don't think you could find any professional who would call the AICPA, AMA, or ABA a union. The AICPA hasn't done anything for me and being a member hasn't provided me any kind of benefit. My former employer had hiring qualifications (3.25 gpa and a degree in accounting) that if you didn't meet you couldn't even be interviewed. Those qualifications weren't dictated by the AICPA - just baseline requirements decided by some suits on Park Avenue.
It's provided me quite a lot of benefit. Anytime I can put "CPA" on my resume, it gives me a HUGE leg up on any other applicant that doesn't have that. It also qualifies me to do work that other aren't even allowed to do by state and federal law (which certainly makes my value much higher than the intrinsic value in the free market of my skill set and average smile).

Surely you have to agree that being able to hold one self out as a CPA is a huge competitive advantage that the AICPA has bestowed upon its members.

Just to clarify, I am not saying that the AICPA is literally a union. Like I said, there is a semantic difference between the terms. But my point was that there are functions of both that are very similar.

So in the same way that the AICPA and other professional organizations promote quality control in the skill sets of their members, some (and I should emphasize the word "some") unions do the same.



Post Reply