Effort to Unionize Adjuncts by Region Starts a Campaign in Boston

A national labor union that has made strides in organizing adjunct instructors in Washington, D.C., and its Maryland suburbs is starting a similar regional campaign in Boston and is planning one in Los Angeles, too.

Service Employees International Union developed its “metropolitan” organizing strategy out of a belief that, by unionizing adjuncts at enough colleges in a large, urban labor market, it can put other colleges in that area under competitive pressure to improve their own adjunct instructors’ pay and working conditions.

SEIU’s first such city-focused effort, in the Washington area, has so far resulted in the formation of adjunct unions at American and George Washington Universities, which are private, and at Montgomery College, a public institution with campuses in three of Washington’s Maryland suburbs. Adjunct faculty members at Georgetown University are in the process of deciding whether to form an SEIU-affiliated union, and their votes are scheduled to be counted on May 3.

The national union has given the name Adjunct Action to its campaign to organize adjuncts in the Boston area. It plans to stage a symposium on adjunct unionization in Boston on Saturday, involving adjunct instructors at more than 20 local colleges. <Read more.>

Via Peter Schmidt, The Chronicle of Higher Ed.