(June 16, 2016) Faculty members at Belmont College voted overwhelmingly to form a union affiliated with the Ohio Federation of Teachers. In a count announced today by the Ohio State Employment Relations Board, 90 percent of faculty members supported the union in a vote of 28-3.
"Faculty members play an important role in the success of Belmont College and the accomplishments of our students. We want to be partners with the college in exploring ways to make Belmont stronger. A union will give us that voice," said Cindi Yanez, an English and communications professor at Belmont Forming a union gives workers and employers incentive to collaborate and a structure in which to address issues and discover solutions together. "We welcome the Belmont faculty into the Ohio Federation of Teachers," said OFT President Melissa Cropper.
"OFT has long been a strong voice for working together with administrators to find ways to meet the needs of students and educators. It is important that the concerns of faculty members be taken seriously - a union will help give faculty a voice." Cropper said those on the front line in education, in this case the Belmont faculty, bring creative and informed ideas to the table. "Faculty members know best what could strengthen the college to deliver better student outcomes and attract more students to enroll. Their ideas can help the college as it looks at how to expand, grow and form a strong future," Cropper said. "The union can help foster greater collaboration between the faculty and college administrators."
Faculty members at Belmont stood together to form a union to ensure better communication between staff and the administration, consistent policies and procedures, and to create a clear pathway for fair pay and benefits. “By joining OFT and AFT the Belmont faculty will have a vehicle to advocate for the resources students need to enter the workforce, and the respect and voice on the job that faculty need to succeed in the workplace,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. Belmont College is in St. Clairsville, Ohio, between Cambridge and Wheeling, in southeast Ohio.