The Oberlin Review

OCOPE Files Grievances Against College

Jenna Gyimesi, News Editor

September 28, 2018

Filed under Campus News, NEWS

The Oberlin College Office and Professional Employees union has filed multiple grievances against the College. OCOPE claims the College violated their contract by eliminating or reducing union jobs and then assigning the work to outside companies or non-union members. Earlier this year, the College was found to be in violation of OCOPE’s collective bargaining agreement following an arbitration process with the National Labor Relations Board. If the newly-filed grievances reach the level of arbitration, it will be the second time in two years that OCOPE has brought the College to a hearing. OCOPE represents approximately 170 employees. Within the year, three OCOPE positions have been eliminated — a building ser...

NLRB Sides With OCOPE in Suit Against College

NLRB Sides With OCOPE in Suit Against College

April 20, 2018

The Oberlin College Office and Professional Employees union recently won a suit against the College with the National Labor Relations Board. The charges, filed in January, claimed that the College violated their mutually agreed-upon collective bargaining agreement by placing temporary workers, who make $14 an hour and receive no employment benefits or insurance, in OCOPE positions longer than is stipulated in the contract. The NLRB found the College in violation of the contract during arbitration. ...

College Should Have Avoided Union Violations

Phyllis J. Jones

April 20, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Nearly 50 years ago, a group of Oberlin office and library workers showed the courage and foresight to organize a new labor union on campus, Oberlin College Office and Professional Employees, to address the glaring inequities they faced as employees. Today, OCOPE continues to play an essential role in bringing economic justice to its 164 members. In early 2017, OCOPE filed charges on the basis of unfair labor practice with the National Labor Relations Board, whose recently-issued decision ruled in favor of the union. Furthermore, an arbitration heard this past December also found that the College had violated its contract with OCOPE. Labor disputes are costly for both sides, and the College has undoub...

Union Victory Provides Dignity to All Workers

Chris Howell

April 13, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: One of the dispiriting things about Oberlin College is the disjunction between the analytical tools and burning social justice values that we teach and discuss in class, and the application of those same tools and values when it comes to the largely invisible labor performed by workers at the College. This is an institution that would collapse without its custodians, administrative assistants, dining hall workers, librarians, and the myriad other workers who allow the school to function. We are attuned to manifestations of power in its most fine, capillary forms, to privilege and microaggression in language and glance, as we should be. But when it comes to these workers, we are all suddenly neoliberals...

OCOPE Resolutions Indicate Larger Issues in Community

Tracy Tucker

April 13, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Many people have asked what caused Oberlin College Office and Professional Employees to file charges with the National Labor Relations Board and take grievances to arbitration. Simply put, these actions were taken to protect the contractual rights of administrative assistants on campus. Oberlin College refused to adhere to long-standing policies and practices that were agreed upon and included in the OCOPE-Oberlin College contract years ago. Some of the disputed matters include hiring procedures, assigning administrative assistant work to non-bargaining unit positions, and refusing to provide information necessary for OCOPE to properly administer the contract and represent members. Language in the contra...

Chemistry Hiring Delays Favor Temps

Michael B. Palazzolo, OCOPE Personnel Coordinator

April 21, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

As a longtime member of Oberlin College Office and Professional Employees, Office and Professional Employees International Union, local 502, I would like to express my dismay at how the recent search for a new administrative assistant for the Chemistry department has been handled. Not only was the posting of the position unnecessarily delayed for many months, contrary to language in the contract between the College and the Union, but the internal candidates for the position were misinformed about certain parameters of the job during the interviews, necessitating the reposting of the position and further delaying the process. Could it be that the rumors are true, that the Chemistry department will do what...

OCOPE Files Unfair Labor Practices Complaint

OCOPE Files Unfair Labor Practices Complaint

March 10, 2017

Oberlin College Offices and Profession Employees filed a charge of unfair labor practices against the College with the National Labor Relations Board Feb. 21, specifying that the College failed to abide by its collective bargaining contract with the union. The charge specifically refers to the College’s refusal to release information relating to OCOPE’s employees and their job descriptions, information necessary for the union’s ability to advocate for its members, according to OCOPE President Tr...

OCOPE Clarifies Facts

Tracy Tucker and OCOPE Executive Board

March 3, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: It has come to our attention that incorrect information about Oberlin College Office and Professional Employees continues to spread across campus. We know the source of much of this misinformation and have requested that the College correct the errors, but since that is not happening, we believe it is important to share the truth. The College’s continued refusal to provide requested information or adhere to the collective bargaining agreement has forced OCOPE to take extraordinary action. An unfair labor practice charge was filed with the National Labor Relations Board Monday, Feb. 20. We will continue to defend the rights of our members and our contract both by continuing our effort to work with the Co...

Administrators, Unions at Odds on Cuts

Administrators, Unions at Odds on Cuts

February 10, 2017

In the aftermath of the College’s campus-wide staff buyout program, custodians, administrative assistants and Campus Dining Service workers face insecurity and have voiced concern over the continual elimination of staff positions and potential work overload. Last spring, the administration created the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program, which was intended to save the College money by replacing veteran staff members with younger, lower-salary employees. VSIP grants each outgoing employee...

College Offers Cash for Early Retirement

College Offers Cash for Early Retirement

May 6, 2016

Over the next three weeks, 177 faculty and staff must decide whether or not they want to take the College up on its offer to retire early in exchange for a relatively hefty severance package. The deal, which administrators are projecting will save the College between $1.5–3.5 million per year, is known as a voluntary severance incentive package and is the first step in the administration’s long-term plan to cut spending while slowing the rate of tuition increase. The payout is relatively...

Campus Must Support OCOPE Negotiations

Editorial Board

May 6, 2016

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The remainder of this month is all about countdowns. Six hours until reading period begins. Six days until the first day of finals. Eleven days until the majority of our student body makes a break for it, and eighteen days until those graduating pack their things and hit the road that, for many, will not lead back to Oberlin. Once students leave, campus inevitably quiets. Not only do dorms and classrooms shut down, but dozens of faculty and staff head elsewhere for the summer, reducing Oberlin’s employee pool to a fraction of its calendar year size. For the employees who remain on campus, running the school is a year-round job. For one faction of those employees, the countdown continues. Thirty-eight days after Commencement, the un...

Students Rally as OCOPE Negotiations Continue

Students Rally as OCOPE Negotiations Continue

April 29, 2016

Students, faculty and College employees from multiple labor unions gathered outside Hall Auditorium earlier today in support of campus workers currently engaging in contract negotiations with the College. The Oberlin College and Professional Employees, a union of campus workers, met with administrators Friday morning to continue a series of negotiations that began April 12 and are slated to end June 30. OCOPE, founded 46 years ago, represents 190 administrative assistance, office workers and libraria...

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