Next hearings on faculty union bid set for December


A decision on the appropriate bargaining unit size in the Union of Pitt Faculty’s bid for unionization will have to wait until the end of the year.  

The union, represented by the United Steelworkers, and the University, represented by the law firm Ballard Spahr, once again presented testimony before the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board in hearings from July 24 to 26.

During this hearing, the union argued that about 800 of the 4,018 employees on the list Pitt submitted to the PLRB should not be included in the bargaining unit.

In comparison, the union claimed when it submitted signed cards in January that the full proposed bargaining unit was made up of roughly 3,500 full- and part-time faculty across Pitt’s campuses. That figure was based on numbers provided in the University factbook and other factors.

The union has repeatedly claimed that Pitt representatives “inflated” the potential bargaining unit size so it would be harder for the union to meet the 30 percent threshold required by the PLRB. Pitt has repeatedly denied these accusations.

When the July hearings concluded, the PLRB ordered Pitt to turn over employee records by Nov. 1 for the 800 people in dispute. These records would be redacted to maintain employee privacy. 

The next set of hearings on the bargaining unit will be Dec. 2 to 4.

For more of the University Time’s previous union coverage:

Bargaining unit size still in dispute for faculty union

Faculty union effort headed for PLRB hearing over size of bargaining unit

Both campus union campaigns in limbo

Donovan Harrell is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at or 412-383-9905.