Pitt mailing postcards to encourage faculty to send in union ballots


There haven’t been any reported issues with the voting process for the ongoing faculty unionization election so far, but the University will soon send out postcards reminding faculty to vote in the election before the Oct. 12 deadline.

The message on the cards says: “Mail your ballot to the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board in time to arrive on or BEFORE Tuesday, October 12, 2021. Ballots received by the PLRB after Oct. 12 will not be counted, regardless of postmark date. The PLRB requires ballots to be returned in the provided, postage-paid envelope. If you did not receive a ballot, contact the PLRB to request a ballot by emailing katowens@pa.gov.”

This comes as the Pitt’s student government organizations weighed in this week on the topic.  The undergraduate Student Government Board narrowly voted on Sept. 22 to not sign a statement supporting faculty unionization, according to the Pitt News.

The same day, the Graduate & Professional Student Government and College of General Studies Student Government voted to sign the statement in support of faculty unionization.

“A union will empower Pitt faculty to pursue adequate resources and support for their work, benefitting all parts of the University community,” the statement said. “To the benefit of students, faculty will be able to leverage their collective skills and experiences to help Pitt create more effective, and more globally competitive undergraduate and graduate programs. Unionization will also grant faculty the collective bargaining power they need to negotiate the higher wages and better benefits they deserve.”

The nearly 3,000 faculty members eligible to vote in the union election should have received ballots by now and will have until close of business on Oct. 12 to return their ballots to the PLRB’s Harrisburg office, according to a PLRB order on July 16.

If voters have not received the ballot, the PLRB is urging them to contact the office immediately. Organizers with the United Steelworkers — which is representing the faculty union — are urging faculty to send in their votes at least a week before the October deadline.

The ballots will be counted starting at 10 a.m. Oct. 19 and end on Oct. 21 if necessary.

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


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