Temple Adjuncts Want a Vote

In Hub Features on February 20, 2015 at 8:56 am

by Paul Dannenfelser

Temple Adjuncts Want a Vote

Adjuncts want a voice, and they want a vote. They want an opportunity to cast their ballots to be represented by a union. An overwhelming number of adjuncts have declared their desire to have a union election. They did this by surpassing the number of signatures required by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board on union authorization cards. They now await an agreement between Temple and the union that seeks to represent the adjuncts. The agreement will outline election procedures, procedures that Temple seems to be in no hurry to establish.

After many adjunct organizing meetings and thousands of conversations over the last two years, we have tremendous support for a union. It is time for the Temple administration to listen to its adjunct instructors. Adjuncts want their important contributions to students to be recognized. They want to be treated fairly and with respect. They want decent wages, job security and good working conditions. They don’t want the administration to delay the vote and waste valuable student resources. If the administration is truly listening to its adjuncts, then it should come to agreement with the union on a fair election process and stop wasting time and money on union-busting lawyers.

Adjuncts come to this work with different life circumstances and different motivations for teaching. Many have devoted years of study and considerable time and money to prepare for full-time employment in the academy, only to find those positions in short supply. Some teach in addition to their day job, sharing their rich professional experiences with students. Some are retired professors or professionals who want to stay involved and give to the next generation. Whatever their reasons, adjuncts, along with fulltime tenure track and non tenure track faculty, provide the core service to any University by teaching.

All students need excellent instructors regardless of their full or part time status. It is time for Temple to acknowledge the critical role that adjuncts play in the life of the University. There should be no delay. Adjuncts at Temple have spoken. Let the democratic process move forward. Let us have a voice. Let us vote. It is the right thing to do.

Paul Dannenfelser is a Social Worker, Adjunct, and Labor Activist. He has over 20 years of teaching experience and is currently an adjunct at Temple University and Rutgers University. Follow him on Twitter @pdannenfelser.