Update on Union Efforts at USC Roski School of Art and Design

Message to USC Faculty

From: Michael W. Quick, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

June 19, 2019

I hope your summer is going well. I am writing to give you an update on the efforts by Service Employees International Union Local 721 to unionize our teaching-track faculty in the Roski School of Art and Design.

This March the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington held that the NLRB’s certification of the SEIU as the bargaining representative of Roski faculty was contrary to law. The court directed the NLRB to reconsider the case under the proper legal standard.

The SEIU has now informed us that it has decided to withdraw its petition to represent Roski faculty, and to withdraw all the pending charges of unfair labor practices it filed against us. The union wrote us that “it disclaims any interest in representing non-tenure track faculty” at Roski.

What this means for Roski and all other schools, is that the Academic Senate, faculty committees, and faculty councils remain free to work with administration on compensation, benefits, and terms of employment. Faculty can continue to speak for themselves on those topics, without having to get union permission.

Working with the Academic Senate, we have made important progress on salaries and employment conditions for both full-time and part-time faculty. All USC faculty, tenured and RTPC, have representatives who play a vital role in making important decisions about our university. This will continue under President-elect Carol Folt.

There is no update on the International Academy. After the January 2016 vote to have the SEIU be the exclusive bargaining representative of the English language teachers there, the union and USC have bargained in good faith but have not reached agreement on a contract. We remain at impasse.

I appreciate your input and encourage your continued engagement in all matters of importance to our university.

Cc: Wanda Austin
Carol Folt
Academic Senate
Academic Deans
President’s Cabinet
Provost’s Cabinet