Archives and Special Collections
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Boston, MA 02115
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Archives and Special Collections Finding Aids

Printable Finding Aid. Back to Browsing Version.

Collection Overview
Title:Staff Council records
Dates:1962-1994 (bulk 1977-1990)
Location:32/2
Call Number:A61
Volume:1 cubic ft (1 box)
Scope and Content Abstract: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.
Historical Abstract: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.
Arrangement:Arranged in one alphabetical sequence.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • 9 to 5 Organization of Women Office Workers
  • Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). Staff Council
  • United States. National Labor Relations Board

  • Labor Unions -- Organizing -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.) -- Employees
  • Women -- Employment

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

See also the Staff Council's newsletter, the "Staff Advocate," found in Northeastern University Publications 87/3.

Processor:Finding aid prepared by Jeanine Rees, January 2005

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.

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.

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BoxTitleDate
19 to 5 Organization for Women Office Workers n.d., ca. 1974-1977
1Affirmative Actionn.d., 1976-1983
1Benefits: Proposals1977-1991
1Child Care: Proposalsn.d., 1990
Committees
1Ad Hocn.d., 1983
1Bylaws (2 folders)n.d., 1975-1990
1Electionsn.d., 1976-1994
1Health Benefits (3 folders)n.d., 1977-1991
1Health and Safety (2 folders)n.d., 1979-1988
1Personnel (3 folders)n.d., 1977-1991
Social
1Annual Christmas Partyn.d., 1977-1987
1Annual Picnic1977-1987
1Other Eventsn.d., 1977-1982
1Staff Advocaten.d., 1977-1982
1Correspondence and Memoranda (2 folders)n.d., 1976-1990
1Faculty Senate: Correspondence1987
1Generaln.d., 1977-1990
1Grievance Proceduresn.d., 1973-1983
1History, Organization, and Informationn.d., ca. 1979-1988
1Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)1962-1987
1Membershipn.d., 1976-1990
1Minutes (3 folders)1978-1992
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
1Clippings1978-1979
1Correspondence1977-1989
1 Legal Proceedings (1 folder) n.d., 1976-1978
1NU Presidential Selection1988
1NU Professional Women's Group1982
1Rostersn.d., 1977-1990
1Salary Studies1976-1986
1Staff Room Requestsn.d., 1987-1990
1Transfer and Promotion: Procedures and Listsn.d., 1981-1986
Unionization
1Background Information and Clippingsn.d., 1976-ca.1988
1Correspondencen.d., 1977-1988
1Generaln.d., 1973
1Staff Lists by Buildingn.d.