Using an Outside Attorney for Union Negotiations

January 12, 2017

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: Radha Pyati, President/Designee, UNF Faculty Association

Why does the administration employ an expensive outside attorney to negotiate with the union, when the union/faculty do not similarly employ an attorney to represent us and negotiate on their own? We have many in-house lawyers, including John Delaney, and all of our in-house lawyers recently received very large raises because they threatened to walk out en masse, in a state where faculty do not have the right to strike. Couldn’t the fees that Leonard Carson charges each year be put instead toward a faculty/staff raise?

FA President Radha Pyati spoke with UNF President John Delaney about the reasons for hiring an outside attorney to negotiate with the union. President Delaney said the following: he has worked with an outside attorney to negotiate with public employee unions since 1991, he appreciates Leonard Carson’s noncombative style, and an experienced labor lawyer is needed to ensure that provisions agreed to are strictly legal. An outside negotiator also acts as a buffer for both sides. Also, he is willing to stand up to me and the administration team when we are off base, and an internal negotiator may not feel that independence.