Plymouth, NH. On Wednesday, March 9, tenured and tenure-track faculty at Plymouth State University filed a petition with the New Hampshire Public Employee Labor Relations Board to form a collective bargaining chapter with the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Included with the petition were union authorization cards from a majority of the tenured and tenure-track faculty members at Plymouth State.
Plymouth State University – AAUP, the group of faculty members leading the union drive, asserts that a faculty union will help create a more collaborative relationship with the PSU administration by establishing a collective bargaining agreement that outlines fair and clear processes. Rebecca Noel, an Associate Professor of History at PSU, is hopeful that a faculty union will create “an environment built on transparency, communication and shared decision-making, with respect for the needs of university students, faculty and staff.” Gary McCool, an Associate Professor in the Lamson Library & Learning Commons at PSU, believes that “the entire university community benefits when faculty are empowered to help ensure the quality of education at PSU by having fairly negotiated, legally binding policies and conditions of employment.”
There are roughly 170 tenured and tenure-track faculty currently working at Plymouth State University who would be eligible to vote in a union election. Plymouth State University is one of four public universities that make up the University System of New Hampshire. Should PSU faculty vote in favor of unionization, they would be following in the footsteps of their unionized colleagues at the University of New Hampshire and Keene State College. The tenured and tenure-track faculty at UNH, along with the full-time non-tenure-track faculty at UNH, are both unionized with the American Association of University Professors. The Plymouth State University – AAUP expects that an election will be scheduled this spring.