Skidmore Faculty Forward Organizing Committee Statement

Dear Skidmore Colleagues:

Today, Skidmore College filed its Statement of Position (SOP, attached) with the National Labor Relations Board, responding to the non-tenure-track (NTT) faculty’s petition to hold a union election. In its SOP, the College asserts the following:

Skidmore’s full-time non-tenure-track faculty have managerial responsibilities which would exclude them from coverage under the National Labor Relations Act; (2) A common unit of both full-time and part-time non-tenure track faculty (including Accompanists) is inappropriate because they do not share a sufficient community of interests. (Appendix C)

Instead of allowing for a free and fair election without interference, this means that Skidmore is alleging that none of its full-time NTT faculty—a total of 105 faculty—have the right to vote in a union election because they are all managers. It also means that Skidmore is alleging that full- and part-time NTT faculty do not share sufficient interests to be allowed to form a union together. 

Both of these claims are demonstrably false. NTT faculty are systematically excluded from the sorts of roles on campus that would make them managers. Full- and part-time NTT faculty quite obviously share interests as teachers and scholars, which is why a substantial majority of them have requested voluntary recognition of our union. Making these claims will only needlessly delay the process of bringing NTT faculty’s decision to unionize to a vote, and cost Skidmore enormous sums of money in legal fees that would be better spent on improving the working and learning conditions of the College community.

Given the College’s repeated statements that NTT faculty have the right to vote on whether to unionize, as well as its public assertions that it is neither pro- nor anti-union, we are therefore deeply disappointed that the College has elected to pursue a maximally confrontational approach in response to our legal and moral right to unionize. Its doing so contradicts Skidmore’s stated commitment to “avoid the antagonism, acrimony, and polarization that characterizes so much of American political and civic discourse right now,” and it calls into question its good faith in asserting its neutrality regarding whether NTT faculty unionize.

In Solidarity,

The Skidmore Faculty Forward Organizing Committee

Attachment: Skidmore’s Statement of Position (Case No. 03-RC-295214)