How do I join the BGSU-FA?
To join the BGSU-FA simply fill out and sign the Dues Authorization Form at this link and return it to the following address:
P.O. Box 425
Bowling Green, OH 43402
Your national AAUP dues are included in the dues you pay to the BGSU-FA.
If you are already a member, please sign the Dues Authorization Form anyway. We will work with the AAUP to reimburse the portion of dues you have already paid as a member of the AAUP.
How Can I Help Out with the Membership Drive?
Want to help the BGSU-FA help faculty? Contact BGSUFACULTYASSOCIATION@GMAIL.COM or (419)-353-2940.
Who are we?
The Bowling Green State University Faculty Association (BGSU-FA) is a democratic, member-led organization run by faculty for faculty. In order to promote shared governance, improve the conditions under which we teach and do research, and support the University’s academic mission, we are working to become the collective bargaining agent for all full-time non-tenure-track, tenure-track, and tenured faculty at BGSU. We are affiliated with the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).
Why is the BGSU-FA affiliated with the AAUP?
The BGSU-FA chose to affiliate with the AAUP because, in its nearly 100-year history, the AAUP has been the leading voice for university faculty, protecting academic freedom, promoting shared governance by preserving a substantive faculty role in university decision-making, and advancing the standards of the professoriate. In accordance with its commitment to faculty autonomy, AAUP chapters are self-governing; chapters negotiate their own contracts, create their own governing documents, and operate as their members see fit. Simply, the BGSU-FA is affiliated with the AAUP because we share the same values. We want to see shared governance, academic freedom and professional standards preserved and strengthened at BGSU.
What happens now that BGSU faculty has voted for collective bargaining?
Having voted yes for collective bargaining, the BGSU-FA is now the bargaining agent for all full-time, non-supervisory faculty. Please join our our organization and work with your colleagues towards building a stronger university and better future.
Do I have to join the union?
No. Union membership is voluntary by law, and any negotiated contract will cover all full-time faculty, regardless of whether they choose to join the BGSU-FA. However, the BGSU-FA is a member-led organization. Robust membership is the best way to ensure that our chapter remains a strong, representative, democratic voice for all full-time faculty. In addition to providing the chapter with the resources it needs to bargain good contracts, seek legal counsel when necessary, and provide other member services, members participate in the chapter’s self-governance by, for example, running for chapter office, serving on the bargaining team and other committees, and voting in chapter elections and contract ratifications.
How much will dues cost me if I do choose to join the union?
Good question—we wouldn’t be organizing if it didn’t make sound financial sense. Our union dues will be voted on by our members. Once we have a certified union, we will vote on a dues rate that seems appropriate for us. Dues at other AAUP-affiliated faculty unions are modest, typically ranging from 0.5 percent to 1 percent of salary. On average, AAUP chapters set dues at 0.75 percent or 0.8 percent. Dues will not be collected until we have negotiated our first contract. The purpose of negotiating collectively is to make our salaries more competitive, not less, and the historical precedent set by other AAUP chapters demonstrates that a negotiated percentage increase to base salary in the first year of a first contract would effectively pay for our set dues—in addition to providing a legally-protected salary increase.
Do all faculty pay union dues, even if they don’t join the BGSU-FA?
Only those of us who join the BGSU-FA will pay union dues. However, many faculty contracts include a “fair share” provision. With a fair share arrangement, sometimes called “agency fee,” everyone who is covered by the contract has the choice of either joining the union as a full member or paying a fee to cover the costs incurred by the union as it represents everyone. It’s based on the premise that since everyone benefits from the contract—through legally binding pay raises, access to a grievance process and outside arbitration, and other rights—everyone should contribute to the cost of administering the contract, even if they choose not to become a full member of the chapter. A fair share provision must be negotiated with the administration at the bargaining table as part of our contract.
How are union dues used?
Like any organization, our chapter needs resources to be effective. Our dues will ensure that we can enforce our contract, educate our members about their rights under the contract, maintain our small office and an updated website, underwrite legal costs associated with members’ grievances, and pursue arbitration in cases where the administration and faculty grievants can’t reach a satisfactory resolution together. While the bulk of our dues will stay local, a portion of our dues would go to the national AAUP to support its work as the professional organization for all higher education faculty—including its academic freedom investigative reports, research and policy work, congressional testimony on behalf of higher ed issues, and grassroots advocacy and organizing efforts.
How will salaries be determined under collective bargaining?
As a faculty union, we will choose a bargaining team that will negotiate our salaries and benefits at the bargaining table with the administration, based on what we, the BGSU faculty, set as our priorities. We will develop bargaining proposals through faculty surveys, open faculty forums, research on other faculty contracts, analysis of BGSU’s audited financial statements, and so on. Some people fear that collective bargaining means that faculty salaries will be leveled across campus, but that simply is not true. Instead, we’ll start with what we have now and build on that according to our membership’s priorities. Other Ohio AAUP chapters have, for example, successfully negotiated salary floors, across-the-board raises, merit pools, equity and market adjustments, better promotional raises, professionalization funds, and bonuses. Together, we will decide what’s most important to us.
Will there still be merit pay under collective bargaining?
Yes, if that’s what we choose to negotiate. Merit pools, as well as formulas and policies for distributing merit, have been negotiated in AAUP faculty contracts at other research universities in Ohio; Akron, Cincinnati, Wright State, Kent State, and Cleveland State faculty all enjoy merit raises in addition to across-the-board salary increases. In the many conversations the Faculty Association volunteers have had with colleagues across campus, preserving merit pay has consistently ranked high as an important issue for BGSU faculty, and we expect that to remain true. Our bargaining team will bargain from the proposals we develop as a group.
How will collective bargaining strengthen shared governance?
A faculty union can strengthen shared governance in three main ways. First, as a bargaining agent, we will have the right to negotiate with the university administration the mandatory subjects of bargaining—our salaries, benefits, and terms and conditions of our teaching, research, and service—instead of having these terms dictated to us by the administration as they are now. Second, a legally-binding contract can protect the faculty senate’s shared governance role by, for example, enshrining the faculty’s participation on key committees and primary roles in curricula design, peer evaluation, and other areas. Third, when we act collectively through the BGSU-FA, we can wield greater political influence on university decision-making.
What will happen to tenure under collective bargaining?
Tenure stays, and the process becomes more transparent and consistent. Most AAUP-negotiated employment contracts incorporate college and departmental governance documents and/or handbooks. In our case, we would negotiate to ensure that individual academic units will continue to abide by specific guidelines and standards on tenure and promotion as set forth in the Academic Charter and in individual collegiate and departmental governance documents.