Part-Time Faculty In Michigan Say Yes To Union

By Gwendolyn Bradley

In October, contingent faculty at Northern Michigan University voted to become a part of the existing AAUP collective bargaining chapter, which already represented tenured and tenure-track faculty.

The vote was 54–5 in favor of “accreting,” or adding onto the existing union, which means that one hundred contingent faculty members will join the existing three-hundred-person bargaining unit. Those eligible are contingent faculty teaching at least eight credits a year.

“This is an important day for our chapter,” says Ron Sundell, president of the NMU chapter of the AAUP. “The overwhelmingly positive vote by the adjuncts shows that we are now poised to become a significant, unified force of almost four hundred AAUP members. We now need to work together to ensure that the needs of all faculty are realized in upcoming contract negotiations.”

“At a time when contingent faculty members are being denied basic protections, it is critical that this group of workers will now have the right to bargain collectively,” adds Howard Bunsis, chair of the AAUP’s Collective Bargaining Congress. “They will have a seat at the table and a voice in the process.”

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