The University of Toledo tried to exit a legal limbo with a labor union Monday.
The university and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Ohio Council 8 and Local 2415 signed a recognition agreement extension, which they hope will pull them out of a “legal maze” left from the merger in 2006 of UT and the former Medical College of Ohio.
About 2,600 University of Toledo Medical Center employees are represented by AFSCME. The union and UT signed an agreement in 2006 recognizing AFSCME as the representative of its employees. That agreement expired in 2009, though AFSCME continued to represent employees and had a contract with the university.
Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, UT president, and John Lyall, AFSCME Ohio Council 8 president, said that the matter only came to light in recent weeks when the Ohio State Employment Relations Board raised questions about the lack of an agreement.
“It was an oversight,” said Mr. Lyall.
The union’s contract with UT expired June 30, 2012, and was extended for a year. The union has been working under a day-to-day extension, and hopes to now begin negotiation with UT. Dr. Jacobs said negotiations could begin very soon.
Dr. Jacobs said university administration never considered letting its agreement with AFSCME “expire and drift off into space,” because he said he believes strongly employees have a right to organize and advocate collectively.
The university will send a joint petition for amendment certification to the Ohio State Employment Relations Board. The board did not return a request for comment.