Faculty union council elects 15-member bargaining committee


The Union of Pitt Faculty’s Council of Representatives has elected 15 people from its 77 members to serve on the union’s standing bargaining committee.

The committee has eight men and seven women, which include 10 full-time employees (FT) and five part-time.

There are five tenured or tenure-stream (T/TS) faculty on the committee, seven non-tenure stream (NTS), one emeritus professor who teaches part time, one librarian and a teacher at the Falk School. There also are three of the regional campuses represented — Johnstown, Bradford and Greensburg.

This group of 15 people will create proposals and meet with University administrators to negotiate the terms of the labor contract. The faculty union is represented by the United Steelworkers, which will work with the bargaining committee during negotiations.

In October 2021, 2,203 faculty out of the 3,335 eligible voted in the union election. Of those,

1,511 votes were cast in favor of the union while 612 voted for no representation, according to the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.

For the first contract, everyone in the bargaining unit who fills out and submits a union membership card is eligible to vote on whether or not to ratify the contract. For subsequent contracts, anyone in the bargaining unit who wants to be a member of the union must pay dues, and only members can vote on subsequent contracts. If you’re in the bargaining unit and choose not to pay dues, you are still subject to the terms of the negotiated agreement. A 2018 Supreme Court decision, Janus v. AFSCME, ruled that public employees do not have to pay fees to unions to cover the costs of collective bargaining.

Bargaining committee members

Tyler Bickford, associate professor of children’s literature and childhood studies in the Department of English, Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences (T/TS)

Nicholas Bircher, professor in nurse anesthesia (PT/NTS) and associate professor emeritus in the Department of Anesthesiology

Lauren Collister, director of the Office of Scholarly Communication & Publishing, University Library System

Rekha Gajanan, instructor of Composition, Division of Communication and the Arts, Pitt–Bradford (PT/NTS)

Lech Harris, instructor, Department of English, Dietrich School (PT/NTS)

James Hill, visiting assistant professor and undergraduate advisor, Department of History, Dietrich School (FT/NTS)

Haitao Liu, professor and director of graduate studies, Department of Chemistry, ​Dietrich School (T/TS)

Sabrina Robinson, instructor, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Dietrich School (PT/NTS)

Valerie Rossi, Falk Laboratory School teacher, School of Education (FT)

Evan Schneider, assistant professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Dietrich School (T/TS)

Paul Scott, assistant professor, Health & Community Systems, School of Nursing (FT/NTS)

Jeff Shook, associate professor, School of Social Work (T/TS)

Matthew Stumpf, instructor, English, Pitt–Johnstown (PT/NTS)

Stacey Triplette, associate professor of Spanish & French, Pitt–Greensburg (T/TS)

Abagael West, lecturer, Department of Biological Sciences,​Dietrich School (FT/NTS)

Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at suejones@pitt.edu or 724-244-4042.


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