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ArtCenter College of Design Faculty Vote to Join CFT Union in Election Conducted by National Labor Relations Board

Published on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 | 3:28 pm

[UPDATED] The CFT Union of Educators and Classified Professionals announced Wednesday that faculty of the ArtCenter College of Design have voted to join the union in an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. The votes from the mail election were counted Tuesday in Los Angeles, with over 60% of those participating voting in favor of the union.

ArtCenter College of Design President Dr. Lorne M. Buchman confirmed the vote in a statement.

“Pending final certification of results by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), part-time and full-time faculty at ArtCenter College of Design (ArtCenter), by a vote of 310 to 204, have elected to be represented by the California Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO (CFT, AFL-CIO), for purposes of collective bargaining. Of the 708 faculty members eligible to vote, 527, or 74%, voted in the mail ballot election,” Buchman said.

“We have fully supported our faculty’s right to choose whether they wanted to be represented by a union and we respect the outcome of this vote. “We come away from the discourse that was generated throughout this process with a better sense of what we need to do to make ArtCenter an even stronger institution.”

Members of ArtCenter’s faculty expressed their support of the vote.

“We are thrilled that both full-time and part-time faculty joined together to create a unified voice that will make the ArtCenter we love an even stronger home for our students and faculty,” said Cole Case, a part-time faculty member in ArtCenter’s Integrated Studies department.

“The result of our union vote comes after almost two years of organizing one-on-one with our colleagues. I am proud that we came together for strength, collaboration, and fairness in the workplace,” said Armando Zuniga, a full-time ArtCenter faculty member in the Humanities & Sciences department.

“We organized this union for transparency around issues like hiring, salary, raises, and promotions,” adds Kim Fisher, a part-time faculty member in Fine Arts. “Too many part-time faculty members have been waiting on fair wages for years. Some haven’t had a raise in ten years. It’s time for things to change.”

CFT President Jeff Freitas acknowledged the vote in a statement.

Founded in 1930, the ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. With a current enrollment of over 2,000 students, ArtCenter offers eleven undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in a wide array of industrial design, visual and applied arts disciplines, as well as minors for undergraduate students in Business, Creative Writing, and Social Innovation. In total, there are approximately 700 full-time and part-time faculty in the bargaining unit, the ArtCenter Faculty Federation.

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One thought on “ArtCenter College of Design Faculty Vote to Join CFT Union in Election Conducted by National Labor Relations Board

  • Sorry to see the old Art Center go down the hill. I graduated in the early 60’s. At the time 90% of our time was spent working on our art skills, pulling all nighters and occasionally being taught to think. As I remember roughly over 90% of us had jobs within two months of graduation. What is that graduation placement rate today?

    “Integrated studies”? “Humanities and Sciences”? “Business”? Creative Writing”? Does Boeing need employees well versed in the humanities? Do you need to be knowledgeable in science to design for Toyota or Ford? “Social Innovation”! You must be joking. Again, what Art Center had over every other college and university was teachers who were or had recently worked in the field. Could you tell me Mr Freitas what your percentage of faculty is working in the field today?.

    Now it seems Art Center has gone the way of most universities that care more about the liberal arts than the arts.

    Mr. Freitas notes a 63% net increase in assets. Could you give us a “union transparent” accounting of the Art Center overhead and cost of d0ing business since 2014-2015? We then might better asses the professional wages and benefits your faculty need and deserve to do their important work.

    Jack Johnson