December 7, 2016

Adjuncts: Unionize!

By Julie Bonk

In October, Washington University became the first university in the St. Louis area to move toward adjunct faculty unionization. Webster University adjuncts should follow this lead.

There are almost four times as many adjunct faculty members as there are full-time ones. This means in the greater St. Louis community, the adjunct faculty represent the university in greater numbers than the full-time faculty.

This also means it’s possible for a student to have mostly adjunct faculty as they go through their degree program.

There can be as much as an $88,000 difference between those two positions’ salaries. Contracts for adjunct faculty are often on a semesterly basis. That uncertainty can be an inconvenience for them.

I’ve had professors give me an email addresses on a different university’s server in order to initiate contact. That’s because many adjunct faculty work at multiple universities in order to make ends meet.

My mom is a teamster, and the benefits of unionization are overwhelming. Collective bargaining means adjunct faculty as a whole can work to increase their wages and benefits.

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