As unions continue to lose clout in America, there’s been a desperate rush to recruit new members. Adjunct faculty members are a prime target.
Lindsay Ellis of the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
Tufts U. Adjuncts Vote to Unionize in Regional Campaign’s First Victory
Adjunct faculty members at Tufts University have voted to unionize with the Service Employees International Union, marking the national union’s first victory in a campaign to organize adjuncts across the Boston area and push institutions to improve their working conditions.
The 128-to-57 vote at Tufts, announced after ballots were tallied on Thursday, precedes an October 4 ballot count for adjuncts at Bentley University, who are also voting on whether to unionize with the SEIU as part of the Adjunct Action campaign.
The campaign’s strategy is to organize adjuncts across a metropolitan area and put colleges in that region under competitive pressure to improve both pay and working conditions for their own adjuncts. About two-thirds of faculty employees in the Boston region are not on the tenure track, according to data released by the SEIU.
The union has pursued the same strategy in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region. After adjuncts at Georgetown University voted to unionize with the SEIU last May, the union now represents part-time professors at four institutions in that area: Georgetown, George Washington, and American Universities, and Montgomery College.
Other regional campaigns are under way in New Hampshire, Connecticut, and California, where the Adjunct Action project had previously announced a Los Angeles campaign.
Tufts U. Adjuncts Vote to Unionize in Regional Campaign's First Victory (The Chronicle of Higher Education)