On April 12, 2013, the faculty union at Bowling Green State University voted 97% in favor of their new collective bargaining agreement. The contract is the first between the BGSU Faculty Association and the BGSU administration since the FA won recognition in October 2010.
The contract represents a crucial victory for the faculty at BGSU. Throughout the bargaining process, faculty members mobilized in support of their key priorities at the table—academic freedom, shared governance, fair salaries, and non-tenure-track job security. The union’s negotiating team, led by chief negotiator Candace Archer, worked tirelessly in the final days of bargaining. “This is a very good first contract,” said David Jackson, FA president. “Our hardworking team stood strong for AAUP principles throughout a difficult and time-consuming process.”
Besides securing fair share, the union won significant protections for academic freedom and shared governance, a fair increase to salary, and a seniority system for non-tenure-track faculty. In addition, the union secured 25 days of paid parental leave (for mothers and fathers), copyright protections for scholarly materials (including syllabi), a new minimum salary structure for all ranks, and improved promotion raises for all faculty.
The contract settlement is the culmination of years of dedicated work from the members, activists, and officers of the BGSU-FA. The union was assisted by other faculty volunteers throughout Ohio and Michigan, the Ohio State Conference of the AAUP, AAUP national leaders, and the AAUP national staff. Through determination and excellent work, the BGSU-FA and its members have changed the dynamic on campus. The faculty voice hasn’t merely been protected—it’s louder than ever.
Every step faculty makes on one campus is a small step to protecting academic freedom, shared governance, and the prioritization of education on every campus.
Can an AAUP union make a difference on your campus? The answer is a resounding yes.
The BGSU FA represents 850 full-time tenure and non-tenure-track faculty. The full-time faculty union is an affiliate of the AAUP and the AAUP-CBC.