NLRB Finds Lack of Merit in Unfair Labor Practice Charge Against Ithaca College

From Senior Vice President Nancy Pringle and Provost Linda Petrosino

The National Labor Relations Board indicated to Ithaca College in June that due to lack of merit, it would be dismissing an unfair labor practice charge filed against the college by the union representing contingent faculty. Shortly thereafter, the college was informed by the NLRB that SEIU Local 200United had decided to withdraw the charge rather than proceed to the formal dismissal decision.

The union filed the charge on March 7, 2017, while contract negotiations were taking place, alleging that the college had declined to reappoint three members of the faculty bargaining unit because of their union activity. The college responded at the time that it recognizes the right of employees to organize and had been negotiating in good faith, denying any violation of the National Labor Relations Act.

In accordance with its usual practice, the NLRB investigated the allegation by collecting information from both the college and the union. The college successfully demonstrated to investigators that the charge was without merit because the reappointment decisions had been made for reasons that were unrelated to union organizing and bargaining.

As we have previously stated, we found it troubling that the union misrepresented the status of the three individuals, falsely asserting that they had been fired by the college. The fact was that their one-year temporary appointments expired and were not renewed, and we are pleased that the NLRB has affirmed that the reasons for these non-renewals were legitimate and in accordance with the law.

The college looks forward to moving on from this at times contentious phase of collective bargaining for a first contract and to working with our contingent faculty members under the new contract that was ratified this past April.