Pitt Faculty Members Vote to Join Steelworkers Union

Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, 412-562-2450, rhufnagel@usw.org

University of Pittsburgh faculty members are looking forward to bargaining their first union contract with the school’s administration following the faculty’s successful vote to become members of the United Steelworkers (USW).

“This result has been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait,” said Tyler Bickford, an associate professor in the university’s English department. “It’s a good feeling to know that we as faculty members have finally achieved what all workers deserve – a voice in the decision-making process that affects our lives on the job.”

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board held a mail ballot election over the past several weeks for faculty members, following more than two years of delays as a result of legal challenges from the administration. Preliminary results today showed that more than 71 percent of the workers who voted cast votes to join the union.

 “Simply put, this will make Pitt a better institution,” said Bickford. “The result will be greater security for workers, better educational outcomes for students, and increased transparency across the university.”

The 3,300 workers at Pitt will become part of the 850,000-member USW, one of the largest labor unions in North America, which has its headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh. Adjunct instructors at Point Park University and Robert Morris University also are members of the USW.

“This vote was successful because these workers know that this decision will make the university a better place for the entire community,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “When academic workers have a seat at the table, it results in a better environment for teachers, for students, and for everyone who calls Pitt home.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-6961

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222