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New Study Reveals AFT, NEA and AAUP Organizing Primarily FT Faculty Not PTers

by P.D. Lesko

A new study published in the Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy presents evidence that suggests the nation’s higher education unions have been focusing the bulk of their respective and collective organizing resources on tenured-line and tenured faculty. Part-time faculty union organizers have repeatedly alleged that the AFT, NEA and AAUP have refused to help organize adjunct faculty groups. These allegations are supported by data compiled by the study’s author, Dr. William A. Herbert, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions.

According to the study, between Jan. and Sept. 30, 2016, “The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was the certified bargaining agent in 90% of the 20 recently certified private sector faculty units. Emblematic of the changes in faculty unionization was the certification of SEIU as the representative of a non-tenure track faculty unit at Duke University, the first new private sector faculty bargaining unit in a right-to-work state in a quarter of a century.”

Compare this to the AFT’s organizing record prior its 2006 launch of a state-by-state legislative push to increase the number of full-time faculty. Of the 44 faculty units organized by

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  • 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.