The Pitt News

Faculty union organizers have had to turn to Zoom calls and emails to rally support.

Pitt faculty prepare for union election, adjust campaigning amid pandemic

By Nathan Fitchett and Neena Hagen February 17, 2021
For years, Pitt faculty union organizers visited offices, labs and classrooms to talk with professors about how a union could improve their lives. With a faculty union election coming up during a pandemic, organizers have transitioned their efforts to Zoom.
Pitt’s Office of University Counsel paid Philadelphia-based Ballard Spahr $881,069 in fees between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 to contest simultaneous but separate unionization attempts by faculty and graduate students.

Steelworkers calls on Pitt to ‘end its anti-union campaign’ against faculty, grad students

By Jon Moss, Editor-in-Chief January 29, 2021
The United Steelworkers union is calling on Pitt to “end its anti-union campaign” against the efforts by faculty and grad students to unionize at the University.
Pitt’s annual payments to the legal firm Ballard Spahr began to increase in 2016, coinciding with the launch of the graduate and faculty union campaigns.

Analysis: Comparing Pitt’s current Ballard Spahr spending with pre-unionization

By Neena Hagen, Senior Staff Writer January 22, 2020
Since the graduate and faculty union campaigns launched in 2016, Pitt has paid more than $1.3 million to “union avoidance” legal giant Ballard Spahr — an average of $328,000 per year.
Pitt’s Office of University Counsel paid Philadelphia-based Ballard Spahr, a “union avoidance” law firm, $1,071,573 in fees between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, to provide legal support during the separate graduate student and faculty campaigns for unionization.

Pitt’s bill for ‘union avoidance’ law firm passes $1 million

By Jon Moss, News Editor January 12, 2020
A “union avoidance” law firm continues to receive a large windfall of legal fees from Pitt, recently passing $1 million, according to University financial disclosure reports.
Jay Darr is the current Counseling Center director at Pitt.

Oakland news roundup

By Neena Hagen, Senior Staff Writer July 1, 2019
As an urban campus bustling with nearly 30,000 students and more than 5,000 faculty, there’s always news breaking at Pitt.
Faculty braces for Pitt’s union “stalling tactics”

Faculty braces for Pitt’s union “stalling tactics”

By Neena Hagen, Senior Staff Writer April 4, 2019
With at least six months until Pitt organizers’ third attempt at a faculty union, Pitt administration and faculty are deep in a debate over the merits of unionization. Faculty say they’re gearing up for a battle.
History of art and architecture associate professor Mrinalini Rajagopalan spoke about the inequalities women encounter when being promoted to professorship.

Pitt professors talk faculty unionization at Frick Fine Arts

By Jonathan Kunitsky, Staff Writer October 25, 2018
A panel of faculty members from Pitt discussed the feasibility of faculty unionization.
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