Ohio State University security officers are headed for union representation after the majority of guards voted to be represented by the Fraternal Order of Police Ohio Labor Council Inc. earlier this fall.
The council filed a request for recognition earlier this year to propose a bargaining unit to represent about 31 full-time security officers at Ohio State.
Twenty-five votes were cast in the mail-ballot representation election conducted over several weeks in September and into October. Of those, 20 guards voted for council representation and five voted for no representation, according to State Employment Relations Board documents.
The board certified the results of the representation election last month.
Ahead of the election, some security officers expressed concerns about leadership and increasing responsibility for guards without extra compensation. Some also were looking for additional training or liability protection, officers told The Dispatch.
“The Ohio State University has a longstanding working relationship with unions,” Ohio State spokesman Dan Hedman said in an emailed statement. “We look forward to continuing to support our security employees as we all work together to enhance safety for our campus community.”
The Central Campus Security Services division at Ohio State is made up of unsworn officers and staffers. They are responsible for security at Ohio State’s academic campus, as well as at the Wexner Center for the Arts, where a former security guard damaged art and terrorized employees before fatally shooting himself in November 2015.
The division also provides security at campus sporting events and student residence and dining halls, among other responsibilities. The Wexner Medical Center has its own security division.
In a letter to campus security officers informing them of the election, Ohio State Public Safety Director Monica Moll wrote that “I genuinely believe that union representation is not needed for you or any of the Security Officers or CPOs (Campus Protection Officers).” She also wrote that she has “worked well with unions” and respected the rights of employees to express their opinions.
The FOP Ohio Labor Council represents more than 9,000 members in 450 bargaining units across the state. The organization did not return messages from The Dispatch seeking comment on the Ohio State election.