TCC Faculty Voting to Unionize Now Underway

TCC Tallahassee Community College logo
Posted at 6:00 PM, Jul 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-04 10:23:45-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) -- Tallahassee Community College (TCC) faculty will be able to vote on forming a labor union from July 14th through August 4th. According to the "Florida Education Association", over 70% of the TCC faculty requested a union election be held to join the "United Faculty of Florida". That request was made earlier this year, after TCC's provost made a proposal that would have required faculty to teach more classes.

The labor union would fall under the collective bargaining agreement for TCC and faculty members would then be able to negotiate parts of their employment including salary and benefits. Supporting faculty members say all parts of the college would benefit by the addition of a labor union.

"Now more than ever, its really important for faculty to have a voice in their working conditions", said Martin Balinsky, Geology and Earth Science professor at TCC, "And around the state, we need advocacy for higher education and for our faculty. Balinsky added, "And it'll actually make it better for administrators as well because faculty will feel like they have a voice and so they'll feel more involved and be happier in their work environments."

TCC president Dr. Jim Murdaugh disagrees with the proposal, but he says that regardless of the voting result, the priority has and always will be for students.

Murdaugh's vice president for Marketing and Communications, Al Moran, said "We will move forward together." Adding, "Going on the same path toward student success. And taking this institution and maintaining the excellent position that we have in the community: Academic excellence, affordability, accessibility. We have a remarkable faculty here."

In order for the faculty to join a union, there needs to be 50% plus one faculty members in support.