Higher Education Membership Soars

by Debra Beckman


Missouri NEA higher education locals

East Central College (Union)*
Harris-Stowe State University (St. Louis)*
Jefferson College (Hillsboro)*
Metropolitan Community College (Kansas City)*
Missouri State University (Springfield)
St. Louis Community College*
University of Central Missouri (Warrensburg)


*Exclusive Representative



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Missouri NEA’s most rapidly growing membership segment, higher education staff members are organizing membership at impressive rates.

“Faculty across the state are dissatisfied with their lack of meaningful participation in academic governance,” says Steve McLuckie, MNEA director of field services and organizing. “Collective bargaining gives them the legal and organizational capacity to gain a substantial role in the decision-making process. The result will be a better work environment for faculty and an improved education for their students. ”

MNEA now boasts seven local affiliates in higher education institutions. Not only is membership booming in this group, but also the majority of the higher education local affiliates have exclusive representation status.

Why higher education members value MNEA

“When I visit with higher education faculty, I hear stories about faculty experiencing exclusion from decisions that impact instruction and their working conditions,” says MNEA Organizing Director Stephanie Price. “Colleges and universities are becoming increasingly administrator top-heavy. Decisions are topdown with little regard for best instructional practices.”

Recently affiliating with MNEA, faculty members at Kansas City’s Metropolitan Community College are an example of the need for higher education employees to speak in a united voice.

“I think that the higher education system is changing,” says Anne Dvorak, communications division chair at Longview Community College, part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Community College system. “We’re in a great deal of flux. We’re seeing institutional memory and processes evaporate, and the pace of change is quick. Faculty members are having an increasingly difficult time in having a significant voice in those changes. My concern is that without that voice, the knowledge that faculty have, the in-depth understanding of their students and their students’ needs, goes by the wayside. Joining MNEA seemed a reasonable way to strengthen our voice and making sure our processes and our course for the future is really viable for all people concerned.”

The MCC faculty group just organized its MNEA affiliation this past fall. Dvorak also noted that significant changes without involvement of the faculty on health insurance benefits contributed to galvanizing the faculty members into affiliation with MNEA.

For more information about the MNEA Higher Education Project, visit www.mnea.org/Missouri/HigherEducationFaculty.aspx

Posted Date: 3/26/2015
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