About Us

The Ohio Part-time Faculty Association is being formed to advocate for the interests of part-time faculty members in institutions of higher learning in the state of Ohio.  Its primary purpose is to provide current and potential part-time faculty members (i.e., graduate students and full-time non-tenure track faculty members) with a virtual meeting place at which members can gather to support each other, share information, and work together on strategies to improve higher education by improving the working conditions of the majority of its faculty.

This association is for faculty who believe that whether through unions or not, part-time faculty should work together to promote greater respect and better working conditions for the people charged with the important job of educating our state's college students.

Maria Maisto
President, New Faculty Majority
Contingent Faculty Member in Ohio

Matt Williams
Vice President, New Faculty Majority
Former Contingent Faculty Member in Ohio

History of part-time faculty collective bargaining prohibition in Ohio:
Public colleges and universities are prohibited from engaging in collective bargaining with workers who are not defined as public employees. Part-time employees at a university make this list, which can be found in the ORC 4117.01. C (14) refers specifically to part-time faculty, and C (11) to graduate assistants. 

As explained to us by a lawyer for AAUP, :
"The statute in OH grants the right to engage in collective bargaining to some, but not all, public employees in the state. Full-time faculty are covered by the statute, and as you know many have succeeded in forming unions. For any group covered by the law, the path to union formation can include having the state labor board conduct an election, and the resultant union can avail itself of remedies offered by the labor board if the employer engages in any activities that are prohibited by statute. 

Part-time faculty (and some other groups of public workers) are not covered by this legislation. This means that they cannot petition the labor board to conduct an election to decide the question of union representation. And any such group cannot seek relief from the labor board if the public employer engages in unlawful practices

But there is a difference between a specified activity not being covered by a law, and it being prohibited under the law. There is no legal framework provided in OH for part-time faculty to unionize, and nothing that compels a public institution of higher learning to deal with a union as the representative of its part-time faculty. But at the same time, there is nothing that prohibits part-time faculty from themselves forming a union, and nothing unlawful about a college or university voluntarily dealing with them as a union. The distinction is not entirely abstract: before the passage of the initial legislation in OH, there were some groups of public employees (including some full-time faculty) who had persuaded their public employer to recognize them as a union, and deal with them as such."

No college or university that we know of has voluntarily agreed to recognize or deal with an association of part-time faculty members as a union (or as if they were a union).  Please let us know if you know otherwise.  

In February 2008, HB 468 was introduced in the 127th General Assembly. It was sponsored by Reps. Strahorn, Brown, DeBoseLundy, Miller, OelslagerSkindell, and S. Williams.  No further action was taken.

In late February 2009 at a Faculty-Legislator exchange sponsored by the Ohio Conference AAUP, Representative Kathleen Chandler promised to revive this legislation after being petitioned by two part-time faculty members at the University of Akron.   

11/12/09 -- Rep Chandler comes through for Part-time Faculty and Grad Students!  See above.

 5/26/10 -- HB 365 recommended for passage in House Commerce and Labor Committee; see http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/05/27/qt#228615 and http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/05/26/copy/labor-unions-for-profs.html?adsec=politics&sid=101

 2/5/11 -- With the results of the November election, continued progress on this issue has been dealt a serious, if not fatal, blow.  Nevertheless, the Ohio Part-time Faculty Association aims to continue our efforts to educate the government of the state of Ohio about the deplorable working conditions of part-time faculty members and graduate students and the urgent need for reform.