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Staff Council records

 Collection
Identifier: A061

Scope and Content Note

The collection documents the administrative affairs of the NU Staff Council, its role as an advocate for weekly payroll staff, and the social activities of the organization. The collection especially reflects tensions between the Staff Council and the university administration regarding various unionization efforts. It also provides insight into the changing experiences of women in the workplace throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Materials include meeting minutes, committee reports, memoranda, bylaws, event fliers and announcements, documents relating to employee benefits, health and safety concerns, salaries, the MBTA, the National Labor Relations Board, and the 9 to 5 Organization of Women Office Workers. Of particular interest are the documents relating to the case against the University brought before the National Labor Relations Board by the 9 to 5 Organization. Also included are materials from District 925, a nationwide union aimed at organizing clerical workers across the country. It was started in 1974 by the 9 to 5 Organization and the Service Employees International Union.

Dates

  • 1962-1994 (bulk 1977-1990)

Creator

Conditions Governing Access:

Records are closed for 25 years from their date of creation, unless researchers have written permission from the creating office.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.

Historical Note

Northeastern University president Asa Knowles formed the NU Staff Cabinet, as the Staff Council was originally known, in January 1975 out of two existing organizations, the Women's Cabinet and the Technician's Group. The purpose of the Staff Cabinet was to promote harmonious working relationships between the administration, faculty, and weekly payroll staff; exchange information between staff and the university administration; organize social activities and foster friendly extracurricular contact among employees; allow staff to participate in formulating and changing policies affecting staff; and provide a medium for staff to submit recommendations for changes in conditions affecting staff. The Staff Cabinet also produced a monthly newsletter, the "Staff Advocate."

In 1976 the Staff Cabinet was nearly disbanded as the result of a complaint lodged with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against NU. A University employee, on behalf of the 9 to 5 Organization for Women Office Workers (a labor organization founded in 1973 to deal with women's issues in the workplace), charged that NU was in violation of the National Labor Relations Act by dominating the Staff Cabinet. The establishment of the Staff Cabinet had been announced publicly by NU president Asa Knowles. The Cabinet's original bylaws, drafted in 1974, provided for the election of eight members, while the president appointed the other seven members. Also, the Cabinet's expenses were paid by the University. In 1977, the Cabinet's bylaws were changed to allow for the election of all future cabinet members, but the NLRB ruled in 1978 that the Staff Cabinet was indeed dominated by the university and thus should be disbanded. A year later, the Court of Appeals rejected the NLRB's decision, and the Staff Cabinet remained intact.

The 1970s and 1980s saw numerous unionization attempts at NU. During that time, conflicting visions existed among the Staff Cabinet members as to its status, but it was never considered an official labor organization. Rather, it was considered a neutral alternative for those who did not support a union. In 1989 the Staff Cabinet was restructured into the Staff Council.

Extent

1 cubic feet (1 container)

Overview

Northeastern University president Asa Knowles formed the NU Staff Cabinet, as the Staff Council was originally known, in January 1975 out of two existing organizations, the Women's Cabinet and the Technician's Group. The purpose of the Staff Cabinet was to promote harmonious working relationships among the administration, faculty, and weekly payroll staff; exchange information between staff and the university administration; organize social activities and foster friendly extracurricular contact among employees; allow staff to participate in formulating and changing policies affecting staff; and provide a medium for staff to submit recommendations for changes in conditions affecting staff.

Overview

The collection reflects the administrative affairs of the Northeastern University (NU) Staff Council, its role as an advocate for NU staff, and the social activities of the organization. Records include meeting minutes, committee reports, memoranda, bylaws, event fliers and announcements, and other materials relating to employee benefits, health and safety concerns, salaries, the 9 to 5 Organization of Women Office Workers, a lawsuit brought by the National Labor Relations Board against NU, and unionization efforts at NU.

System of Arrangement:

Arranged in one alphabetical sequence.

Physical Location

32/2

Related Materials:

See also the Staff Council's newsletter, the "Staff Advocate," found in Northeastern University Publications 87/3.
Title
Finding aid for the Staff Council Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Jeanine Rees
Date
January 2005
Language of description
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US