You are here: September 28, 2007 Statement

STATEMENT FROM AMERICAN UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT NEIL KERWIN
Regarding the Shuttle Operators Union

September 28, 2007

For almost a year, American University has been working to resolve a
disagreement with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) concerning how an election was conducted and which involved AU shuttle operators. We appealed to the NLRB to review the conduct of their election official who prevented a late arriving shuttle operator from voting - in violation of the NLRB's own guidelines. The NLRB rendered a decision on this matter on September 27, which upheld the election.

I have carefully reviewed the NLRB decision upholding the results of the election. I remind our community that the university's appeal was grounded in two important principles-the right to vote, and the obligation of government to adhere to established policies and procedures. I understood that by acting on these principles we risked being viewed as opposing another important principle that we also value highly-the right of workers to organize and bargain collectively. I continue to believe that the election was significantly
compromised by the conduct of the government official responsible for
administering the election.

The university has the right to utilize the courts to seek serious answers to the very important questions we have raised. However, this course of action would likely take months or years to complete. I am not prepared to allow that much time to pass before the affected parties receive a definitive ruling from the courts.

Therefore, the university will abide by the NLRB's decision because it is time to turn the page and move on to good-faith bargaining. The community should understand that our highest priority is the safety of our shuttle bus passengers and the efficiency of that service's operations. I am certain this same priority will be  shared by our operators and their representatives.

I want to thank those campus constituents who provided me with their thoughtful and considered views on this important matter.