Chronicle on unionization of adjuncts

12/15/2009: The Chronicle has a long article on the increase in the unionization of adjunct faculty:

Aware that adjuncts are finding reasons for wanting to organize, unions are wooing them—in no small part because the numbers of tenure-track faculty members that can be added to union rolls is shrinking. “If you’re going to organize faculty, you’ve got to organize contingent faculty,” says Mr. Berry. “They’re the majority of the faculty now.” … Since the middle of last year, the American Federation of Teachers has organized eight contingent faculty unions, representing more than 4,000 instructors (not including graduate students and postdocs). … Although adjuncts are “receptive to unionization,” Ms. Bannan says, “the hard work is in identifying them.” Adjuncts are often poorly counted by administrations and are difficult to round up because they often go from campus to campus to work. Once organizers get beyond that barrier, says Mr. Berry, the labor specialist at Urbana-Champaign, “it’s never difficult to convince contingent faculty to join a union. Getting to an election is basically a matter of finding the people.”

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