Influential CSU board member Joe Blake went to Washington this week to lobby Sen. Bennett to oppose the Employee Free Choice Act. Blake purports to be speaking for the state’s “business community,” of course, whatever that means. Do a majority of businesses belong to this community and endorse its lobbying efforts? Does the community include investors, owners, managers, workers? Who are the members of this community, exactly?
Blake’s own membership in the community is vague. Is he speaking only as Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce president (does that make him an investor, owner, manager, worker… spokesperson?) or is he also speaking as a top member of the board of CSU, a major state employer?
And what do the CSU business community members make of Blake’s lobbying efforts? CSU is the largest employer in Fort Collins and probably in Pueblo, too.
In addition to 1,520 faculty members, CSU employs 1,775 administrative professionals, 2,200 state-classified employees, 1,560 graduate assistants, and 180 postdoctorates.
Does the CSU business community oppose the Employee Free Choice Act?
According to Ken Nufer, Director of Human Resources at the Pueblo campus, the university’s state employees voted for union representation last year but campaigning for the Employee Free Choice Act has been minimal at Pueblo. That’s likely the case, he said, in part because the university is exempt from the collective-bargaining laws put in place last year by Gov. Ritter and at the heart of the battle over the EFCA.
Blake has been rumored to be on the list of candidates for the new and controversial CSU stand-alone chancellor spot, which the university is hoping to fill by July.
According to the Denver Post, Blake wrote a letter to Bennet that said the Employee Free Choice Act “is divisive and unnecessary and, most importantly, it is wrong for Colorado.”
** UPDATE: Spokesperson Michele McKinney says that “the board of governors at CSU has not taken a position at this time” on the Employee Free Choice Act.