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  October 23, 2000

Health Center May Vote on Unionization

A petition has been filed with the state labor board to call an election to determine whether the Health Center faculty will join a union.

The petition was filed with the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations by Peter Thor, director of research and information, Council 4, American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, New Britain.

Board procedure provides that once a unionization petition has been filed, a preliminary conference between all interested parties is scheduled. If the participants agree on the desirability of an election and no objections are raised at the conference, the election is scheduled as soon as possible. The time from petition to vote is usually less than two months, said David E. Johnson of the labor board.

Thor filed the petitioned on Oct. 10 on behalf of the Health Center's Faculty Association, AFSCME, Council 4, Union of American Physicians and Dentists. The petition states that AFSCME has represented Connecticut public employees since 1938 and that this drive concerns about 480 Health Center faculty.

The petition requests representation for all faculty of the Health Center who are full-time equivalent or who work at least one-fifth time, excluding department heads, associate deans, assistant deans and deans.

A two-day vote on whether to unionize the faculty was held June 14-15, 1999. The measure failed 250 to 169. Eighty-seven percent of the faculty at that time - 419 of 484 eligible - cast a ballot.