November 1, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Minneapolis, MN – Unions have been making significant gains in organizing the growing number of part-time and non-tenured faculty at universities around the nation: In 2015, there were at least 21 new collective bargaining units of non-tenure-track faculty at private colleges and universities, according to the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions at Hunter College in New York.
On Oct. 20, about 100 full- and part-time faculty at Minneapolis College of Art and Design voted to join Service Employees International Union Local 284, a victory in the SEIU’s campaign to organize pro fessors in the Twin Cities area. Other unions organizing faculty include the United Steelworkers, the Newspaper Guild, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the American Association of University Professors. Universities seeking to cut costs and run on more of a “business model” have dramatically increased the use of part-time and temporary professors. In 1969, 80% of college faculty were tenure-track, while now barely one-third are, said William A. Herbert, director of the Hunter College center. Contingent faculty are “fed up with wages and the inequality on campus,” AFT President Randi Weingarten told Bloomberg BNA. Read more