Thirty-two members of the Ocean County College administrative staff are no longer represented by a union, after more than two years of efforts to remove the union.
The staff, which had been represented by the Federation of Professional Administrators, under the American Federation of Teachers, had begun the move to decertify in 2009, said RoseAnn D'Urso, the manager of promotional programming, who was a member of the union.
The move, which ends more than 20 years of union representation for the group, was announced at the Ocean County College Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday in Toms River.
After more than two years of wrangling, 86 percent of the members voted to decertify, said D'Urso, who was the former vice president of the union. The American Federation of Teachers did not fight the move, and it was approved by the state's Public Employees Relations Commission in April.
"It has been a very long and road and sometimes a very difficult process in our bid to decertify the union," D'Urso said in a prepared statement at the trustees' meeting. "Our members are very happy to be fully-integrated into the Unclassified Administrators Unit and we look forward to putting the past behind us and forging ahead to a bright and productive future."
D'Urso said the union members had issues with the advice they were receiving from the American Federation of Teachers, and though they asked for and received a new representative, the members felt it didn't improve the situation.
"We were disillusioned," D'Urso said. The members felt the union was not being forthright with them, and there were concerns about the representative not being up to date with current legislation that related to their situations. She declined to be more specific.
D'Urso said now that the union has been decertified, they cannot unionize again for a year, and she indicated that would be unlikely. The group, which first organized in the 1990s, was initially represented by the New Jersey Education Association. But unhappiness with that affiliation led them to switch to the American Federation of Teachers in 2006, she said.
"We're really very happy to be back with the university," she said.
"We appreciate your trust," OCC President Jon Larsen said after the decertification was announced.