Cross-posted from Free Exchange on Campus
If you were to take a poll of the climate at Quinnipiac University these days, the results would be bleak. The private institution in Connecticut, best known for its public policy Polling Institute, now has a new label: Union Buster.
Earlier this year, when the Quinnipiac Faculty Federation was due to return to the bargaining table, the administration moved to decertify the union. QFF has represented the faculty at the private university continuously since 1975.
Seeing a ripe opportunity in the mostly Bush-appointed National Labor Relations Board, the university went to the NLRB claiming that the faculty are managers and, under the 1980 precedent of the Yeshiva
decision, should not have the protections of the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRB agreed.
Quinnipiac president John L. Lahey claims that faculty unions at a university create an "adversarial structure and culture." This view ignores a 31-year history of good and productive relations with the Quinnipiac Faculty Federation. Furthermore, it ignores the changing conditions of faculty work. Nationwide, faculty tenure and job-secutiry continues to be eroded through the explosive hiring of contingent and contract faculty
and faculty continue to be attacked by right –wing ideologues
. Under these circumstances, unions are quickly becoming the only institution protecting the rights of faculty to do their jobs researching and presenting new and, at times, controversial ideas without fear of retribution for .
In short, higher education unions help protect the free exchange of ideas on campus. Maybe that's why David Horowitz and his minions are perpetually attacking unions
as part of their attack on higher education.
Makes one wonder what poll Quinnipiac put out to determine they should bust the faculty union?
"Hello, John Q. Public? This is Quinnipiac University. We are taking a short poll to determine whether or not you think we should renege on a 31 year contract we have had with our employees? Since, you like so many other Americans don't have any job security or protections, do you think it is unfair that these faculty members do? Yes? Oh, us too—thanks for your time."
Perhaps administrators at Quinnipiac need some direct democracy polling to remind them of that old chant: What's disgusting? Union busting! Send your letter today.