The Service Employees International Union Local 721 has withdrawn its petition to represent Roski School of Art and Design faculty, Provost Michael Quick announced June 19. The SEIU will also drop pending charges against USC regarding unfair labor practices.
“What this means for Roski and all other schools, is that Academic Senate, faculty committees and faculty councils remain free to work with administration on compensation, benefits and terms of employment,” Quick wrote in a letter to USC faculty. “Faculty can continue to speak for themselves on these topics, without having to get union permission.”
Roski’s decision to withdraw representation follows a March D.C. appeals court ruling that decided non-tenured faculty at USC cannot form unions. Under the March ruling in the National Labor Relations Board v. USC case, non-tenured faculty positions are considered managerial positions. Previously, a decision by the NLRB in 2015 said full- and part-time non-tenure track Roski employees had the right to form a union with SEIU, despite University protest.
In 2016, eligible Roski faculty voted to join SEIU Local 721 along with faculty from the International Academy following complaints of low wages and few benefits. Faculty from Dornsife College of Arts and Sciences also voted but failed to unionize.
The University has made significant progress since 2016, Quick wrote.
“Working with the Academic Senate, we have made important progress on salaries and employment conditions for both full-time and part-time faculty,” Quick wrote. “All USC faculty, tenured and [Research, Teaching, Practice and Clinical Faculty,] have representatives who play a vital role in making important decisions about our University. This will continue under President Carol Folt.”
According to Quick, USC has yet to reach an agreement with SEIU over the International Academy.
“After the January 2016 vote to have the SEIU be the exclusive bargaining representative of the English language teachers there, the union and USC have bargained in good faith but have not reached agreement on a contract,” Quick wrote. “We remain at impasse.”