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Allegheny

University of Pittsburgh faculty members seek union

| Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, 2:24 p.m.
Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh in Oakland will be the site for Courtside at the Cathedral , an event hosted by the men's and women's basketball teams kicking off their 2018-19 seasons.
COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH
Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh in Oakland will be the site for Courtside at the Cathedral , an event hosted by the men's and women's basketball teams kicking off their 2018-19 seasons.

With two successful organizing campaigns under its belt among part-time faculties at local universities, the United Steel Workers of America will launch a card drive Monday in Oakland among University of Pittsburgh faculty members.

The rally follows two years of work behind the scenes gathering support among some 4,000 full- and part-time faculty members at Pitt's Oakland campus and campuses in Greensburg, Johnstown, Titusville and Bradford. The school of medicine was not included in the organizing drive.

A USW spokeswoman said faculty organizers will speak in support of the union drive and sign the first union cards at the rally at noon at the William Pitt Union. The union already has gathered faculty testimonials from professors across Pitt and posted them online..

Organizers say faculty members are seeking a voice in issues including pay and job security for adjunct faculty to academic freedom and shared governance of the university.

The USW previously won elections among units representing a total of about 600 part-time faculty at Point Park and Robert Morris universities. Officials at Duquesne University are contesting the results of a USW election there that would cover about 100 adjunct faculty members, if it is upheld.

Last month, a group representing about 2,000 graduate teaching and research assistants at Pitt delivered union cards to the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board in Harrisburg and petitioned for an election to become a collective bargaining unit under the auspices of the United Steelworkers of America. Officials have yet to schedule an election.

Debra Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-320-7996 or derdley@tribweb.com or via Twitter @deberdley_trib.

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