FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 13, 2023
Contact: Neil Bhaerman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Large Majority of CCAD Faculty Call for Union Recognition
COLUMBUS — Today, 72% of full-time and adjunct faculty at the Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD) submitted signed union cards to the National Labor Relations Board. The cards authorize the formation of a union affiliated with the Ohio Federation of Teachers. Due to that large majority, the CCAD Faculty Alliance (CFA) is calling for the CCAD Board of Trustees to voluntarily recognize their union.
“We’re forming our union because it will give faculty a larger voice in the way our institution is run and lead to more innovation,” said Carol Boram-Hays, an Associate Professor in History of Art & Visual Culture. “It will also help bring about better working conditions for adjuncts and full-time faculty, and a more creative and equitable college for everyone.”
CCAD’s Board of Trustees can choose to voluntarily recognize the union, as many non-profits and educational institutions have done, or to call for a secret ballot election administered by the NLRB.
“We’re standing together for our union because we love teaching at CCAD, but we know there are things our college needs to do better to give our students the best chance of success and to make all faculty feel secure, confident, and respected in the workplace,” said Craig Campbell, an Assistant Professor in Comics & Narrative Practice. “We hope that our Board respects the decision we’ve made and recognizes our union so we can start working collaboratively on a fair contract.”
Gaining a voice in academic decisions made at the college and improving the work environment for adjunct faculty are top priorities for CFA members.
“Two out of three faculty members at CCAD are adjuncts with no benefits, no contracts longer than a semester, and no voice. Students interact with adjunct faculty more than anyone else on campus, so we are best-positioned to know what life at CCAD is like for students,” said Brian Williams, an adjunct faculty member who teaches Illustrative Figure Drawing. “We can improve the school for everyone on campus if we organize our collective knowledge and expertise.”
CFA is organized as an affiliate of the Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT) who represent active and retired public school teachers, charter school teachers, school support staff, higher education faculty and staff, library workers and social work professionals in 58 local unions across Ohio. Since 2021, staff at seven Ohio schools, libraries, or organizations have successfully joined OFT (Worthington Libraries, Grandview Heights Public Library, KIPP Columbus, Summit Academy in Lorain, Menlo Park Academy in Cleveland, the School of Bright Promise in Steubenville, and Equitas Health in locations across Ohio). An eighth, Pickerington Public Library, is waiting for their union election.
“CCAD will be in the best position to thrive when all faculty, whether full-time or adjunct, are respected as professionals and have a meaningful voice at work,” said Melissa Cropper, President of the Ohio Federation of Teachers. “This is what OFT members have been able to achieve in our workplaces, and we’re thrilled to be working with CCAD faculty to enact this vision at their college.”
CCAD is affiliated with Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), a consortium of 39 non-profit independent colleges of art & design in the US and Canada. At least 18 of those AICAD affiliated colleges currently have faculty unions, five of which are affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
“Throughout higher education, the labor of adjunct faculty is not fairly compensated,” said Jessie Horning, an adjunct faculty member who teaches History of Art & Visual Culture. “If CCAD wants to consider themselves an equitable institution they need to be open to supporting all of their faculty with fair pay and other benefits that we can negotiate as a union.”
The Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT) is a state federation of 58 local unions representing members who are active and retired public school teachers and staff, charter school teachers and staff, higher education faculty and staff, social workers, library workers, and public employees. OFT works to advance quality public education, intellectual freedom, and a voice in the workplace for Ohio’s education & public service professionals. OFT is affiliated with the 1.7 million member American Federation of Teachers.