What does it mean for a union to be defunct but not decertified?
March 12, 2014 11:37 AM Subscribe
Acquaintances who are currently graduate employees at the University of Kansas are very worried about an administration proposal to cut the hours GTA's/GRA's can work. From what I am seeing on social media, these acquaintances and the GTA/GRA community are planning on making a lot of noise to the administration and the media with some help from sympathetic faculty and departments. Basically, pleading and threatening. But, KU apparently *has* a collective bargaining unit for graduate students, GTAC
, which successfully negotiated a single contract in 2001 before apparently becoming completely marginalized. It seems like the GTA/GRA community are basically unaware that a union ever existed.
But, does the GTA/GRA community not still possess the protections of having formed and certified a union? It seems that the last contract expired in 2009, but I can't find anything about GTAC decertifying. Or does decertification happen automagically after some period of non-activity or lapse of contract? I have basic knowledge of labor law and NLRB rules and have done some additional research, but I can't answer these questions for myself or my acquaintances.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... to Law & Government (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I can't imagine working .75 FTE as an instructor while meaningfully pursuing a gradate degree, maybe if the paid work was research relating to my thesis/project. However, it seems that the per-hour rates at KU are low enough that many people need the hours, and it sounds like my friends don't expect the actual workload to decrease with the paid hours. They also seem to think that this proposal is intended, at least partially, to dodge providing coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
My quick internet sleuthing turned up very little beyond the apparently defunct GTAC site and diminishing mention in outside media. GTAC seems to have completely dissolved as a functioning office at some point in 2009; the last meeting minutes on the GTAC site are from August of 2009 and include a note that the contract was about to expire. Prior to that, it looks like the administration played hardball and won. Quick searches indicate that the 4 officers listed on the site matriculated or otherwise moved on in 2009-2010. The last mention I can find of GTAC in outside media is a March 2011 Daily Kansas article
I pinged their contact email. Given the state of the site, not sure if I will hear back.