Miami librarians vote in favor of unionization

By Kaylee Olmsted

Miami University librarians have unanimously voted in favor of unionization. Votes were counted at the State Employment Relations Board in Columbus June 14 and 28 of the 31 eligible librarians voted. 

“We put in enough legwork that we knew we’d have a pretty significant margin of victory, but we couldn’t be sure of the total number of people that would vote,” said librarian Rachel Makarowski. “We had high expectations, but it definitely surpassed expectations.” 

Makarwoski and two librarian colleagues took a vacation day to watch the voting occur at SERB. 

“We were just so excited to see the ‘yes’ pile grow and grow,” she said. 

The voting results must be certified by SERB before bargaining begins. Librarian Ginny Boehme said the Library Unit is expected to be officially certified after the next SERB meeting  July 6. 

After certification, collective bargaining with Miami University can begin with the goal of forming a contract. 

“Together we’re turning the page to a new chapter in Miami’s history,” Miami Provost Elizabeth Reitz Mullenix said in a press release about the voting results. 

Cathy Wagner, a lead faculty organizer for the Faculty Alliance of Miami, said now the plan is to work to get a good contract and press hard to get it done quickly. 

“Sometimes it can take a year or more, but hopefully that will not be our case,” she said. 

Currently, a survey is being created for the librarians to fill out. Makarowski said the goal is to better understand the potential concerns and biggest issues the unit wants to tackle at the bargaining table.  

“I’m very much looking forward to where this takes us,” Boehme said.