Board of Trustees Policy  460.1

EMPLOYEES JOINING LABOR UNIONS

The original PDF version of this policy is linked from the revised date below.

Employees of the University of Arkansas need not join a union in order to be employed by the University. Amendment 34, Constitution of Arkansas, so provides. The fact that an employee does or does not belong to a union has no effect upon his or her position as a member of the University staff. 

University administrative officers are aware that certain persons have approached University employees on this matter, and have urged them to join a union and pay dues. Said administrators are also aware that certain employees belong to their respective craft unions. 

The University has been following, and will continue to follow, an official opinion from the Attorney General of Arkansas who has ruled that the Board of Trustees of a state institution does not have the legal authority to bargain with a union as to wages, hours, working conditions, etc., of the employees of the institution. These subjects are exclusively within the power of the legislature and are not to be delegated. A state institution has no authority to enter into a contract with a labor union as a representative of its employees or any part of them. Federal laws concerning unions do not apply to the University which is operated by the State of Arkansas. 

On matters of salary and working conditions, the University has in the past and will continue to make and vigorously present budget requests to the Arkansas Legislature which are based upon a careful study of prevailing rates and cost-of-living. University officials are confident that the General Assembly will meet these needs insofar as it can do so out of money available.

Although the University is not in a position to recognize a union either directly or indirectly, the administrative officers of the University, in all divisions, will continue the policy of conferring with any employee, regardless of rank, on any suggestion or complaint he or she may wish to state. The Board of Trustees and the general administrative officers assure all employees that any inequities brought to their attention by an employee of the University will be considered and adjusted, if at all possible. Employees in stating suggestions and complaints through regular channels will not be subject to prejudice or penalty for doing so.

The Board of Trustees deeply appreciates the important and essential services and the pride in the institution which characterizes the work of the members of the non-academic staff in serving the University and the State of Arkansas. It is the Board's hope that these employees will understand the University's position on the matters mentioned herein, and they are cordially invited to make inquiry of the general administrative officers on any points of concern which may not be clear in this memorandum.