COLLEGE PARK. Md.--The faculty council of the University of Maryland voted last month to establish an independent coalition to organize the fight to unionize the faculty at the University.
Forming a coalition to "work for the right to bargain collectively and promote the integrity and independence of the academic profession" removes the faculty council from the center of the struggle.
The council was reluctant to spend university funds in the attempt to unionize the faculty because the state "could interpret it as using University money for political purposes." Reed Whittemore, faculty council chairman, said. In addition, the incoming chairwoman of the council and other members do not favor unionization.
The coalition sent letters to more than 450 faculty members who indicated an interest in a bargaining group, asking for contributions and support. Whittemore said the coalition will charge dues and wants to collect $7000 soon to pay for expenses.