The Rhode Island Superior Court has ruled, October 1, 2015, in favor of the URI Part-Time Faculty United (URI/PTFU) union in the URI/Board of Education (BOE) appeal of an arbitrator’s earlier decision which determined that the University acted in violation of the URI/BOE and URI/PTFU collective bargaining agreement.

In this context, it should be mentioned that Dr. David Dooley (President), and the RI Commissioner of Higher Education, Dr. Jim Purcell, approved the decision to appeal the arbitrator’s decision in this matter despite the fact that the URI/Board of Education and URI/Part-Time Faculty United Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that arbitrator decisions will be “final.”  So, they found a loop-hole to challenge the arbitrator’s ruling. But, most importantly, they lost, as they should have.

It is common knowledge that there is an urgent problem at URI that needs to be fixed — and that is the deep exploitation and unprofessional mistreatment of part-time faculty who teach at the University.  If President Dooley and Commissioner Purcell are unable, or unwilling, to fix this problem, then it is time for Gov. Raimondo to review the situation and take appropriate action under the auspices of her newly established Workplace Fraud Unit, a unit “established to protect employees against employers who violate labor laws, including underpaying wages.”

 


Dr. Dorothy F. Donnelly, PhD

Professor Emeritus, Department of English and Comparative Literature at URI, and Senior Representative of the URI/Part-Time Faculty United (URI/PTFU)