PFN supports the North Carolina chapter of the American Association of University Professors in opposing NC State Bill 575

FROM THE NORTH CAROLINA ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS (WWW.NC-AAUP.ORG)

Greenville, NC

Dr. Holden Thorp, Chancellor

Office of the Chancellor

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

April 1 2012

Dear Dr. Thorp,

State Bill 575 is currently in the North Carolina Legislature. If passed, it will severely reduce the rights of people working on the sixteen campuses of UNC, removing 22,000 employees from the legal guarantees and protections provided to all state workers under the State Personnel Act (SPA). This unfair double standard will be applied to UNC system-wide workers.

The Board of Governors for the UNC system would become the sole authority over workers, determining most employment parameters for SPA workers, including wages as well as grievance and disciplinary policies. A system of checks and balances on possible abuses would disappear.

Although guiding principles regarding the application of the provision are currently being shared with staff and faculty for feedback, it is our position that the guidelines do not adequately address a key concern: many workers think that this bill will stifle their voices by removing the objective higher authority of the state.

Employees will face potentially hostile work environments. They could be fired at the Board’s will, without the justification and legal redress options to which they are now entitled as State personnel. Employees who criticize working conditions or call for better wages could more easily be removed from their jobs for speaking up. As Executive board members of the North Carolina Conference of the American Association of University Professors we are concerned about the possible curtailment of workers’ rights to free speech.

Faculty know that a university cannot function without the hard work of thousands of staff members. It functions best when workers have more rather than fewer rights. This law would negatively affect the people we work with, our working and teaching environments, and the state as a whole.

We urge you to speak publicly about SB 575, to discuss its implications with faculty, staff and students at your campus, and to fairly represent the concerns of employees about this bill to the UNC Board of Governors during their upcoming meeting, and to legislators during their short session in May.

Please, feel free to contact any of us. Our concern, as yours, is to make sure that the UNC system continues to excel.

Sincerely,

Purification Martinez, East Carolina University, President, NC Conference, AAUP, martinezp@ecu.edu.

Willa J. Casstevens North Carolina State University, Vice President, NC-AAUP, wjcasste@ncsu.edu.

Dana DeSoto, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Treasurer, NC-AAUP, desoto@email.unc.edu.

Terrell A. Hayes, High Point University, Secretary, NC-AAUP, thayes@highpoint.edu.

David F. Ayers, UNC at Greensboro, Member-at-large, Public Institutions, NC-AAUP, dfayers@uncg.edu

Cheryl Brown, Greensboro College, Member-at-large, Private Institutions, NC-AAUP, cbrown@greensboro.edu

Martha McCaughey, Appalachian State University, Immediate Past-President, NC-AAUP, mccaugheym@appstate.edu

Cc: UNC President Tom Ross, tomross@northcarolina.edu

A similar letter was sent to all of the chancellors of the UNC System.

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1 Comment

  1. to visit the NC chapter of the American Association of University Professors, please go to http:/www.nc-aaup.org/

    to visit the STOP SB575 Coalition website please visit http:/www.stopsb575.wordpress.com/

    Reply

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