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USC Student Argues SEIU Adjunct Union Not a Panacea

by Valerie Yu

Last Tuesday, the National Labor Relations Board announced landmark results for USC’s faculty union vote, allowing USC, the largest private university in the state, to organize faculty. Though unions aren’t good or bad per se, it’s paramount to keep in mind that they also aren’t a panacea to the growing concerns of adjunct faculty, rooted in issues that are decades in the making and larger than this campus alone.

In terms of the vote’s breakdown, two of three schools voted to join Service Employees International Union 721. Non-tenure-track faculty members of the Roski School of Art and Design and USC International Academy, by votes of 31 to 6 and 32 to 3, respectively, approved union representation. USC’s oldest school, the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, however, rejected union representation in a close vote, with 113 in favor and 127 against. According to the Los Angeles Times, faculty who voted in favor of unionization were “frustrated with large workloads, low pay, shrinking benefits and poor career prospects.”

By no means an isolated incident, this latest development is a phenomenon that stretches far beyond this campus. Over the past years, a wave of contingent unionization has

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Recently Commented

  • AdjunctNation Editorial Team: @Jeffr thanks for pointing out the distinction.
  • Jeffr: Note that adjunct faculty are considered to be on a “term” basis and receives no protection except...
  • Scott: I believe Sami is correct in that this no reasonable assurance language will allow adjuncts continuing access...
  • Nancy West-Diangelo: It’s as if we’ve lost the ability to listen critically. If the point of the work we...
  • Freddi-Jo Bruschke: An excellent description of this editorial.