Saturday, June 30, 2018

Janus v AFSCME A Commentary, Dr. Keith Hoeller, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 29, 2018 in American Faculty Association Blog June 30, 2018

On the Waterfront (1954) Review |BasementRejects
On the Waterfront with Marlon Brando, a story of corrupt unions oppressing their workers.

Janus v. AFSCME, commentary selection from Dr. Keith Hoeller, published via Chronicle of Higher Education on June 29, 2018. For the complete commentary see

Why the Supreme Court Ruling on Unions Could Be Good for Adjuncts

June 29, 2018

"Missing from the debate have been important critiques of the union movement from the labor perspective. To regain their relevance, faculty unions at public colleges and universities will need to shed their historic approach of privileging tenure-track members over contingent faculty members, and instead embrace a new kind of organizing unit that finally deals with the needs of adjuncts and part-timers, who shoulder most of the teaching load in higher education."

"For contingent faculty members, the question about union representation has long been: Should they be coerced into paying their "fair share" when they do not receive their fair share at the bargaining table, where their numbers are not equitably represented and their voices not heeded? Under Janus, they will no longer be required to do so."

The National Labor Relations Board has made it clear that tenure-track faculty members at private colleges cannot be in the same bargaining unit as their non-tenure-track colleagues. But conflicts of interest abound in the two-tier system at public institutions, where the majority of adjuncts are represented in "mixed units" with their tenured colleagues."

AFA Editor Commentary: Adjuncts are "beat up" by Academic Unions and Associations.

While some might think that the comparison of adjunct faculty representation to On the Waterfront is harsh, many adjunct faculty who have tried to change the unions/associations' discrimination against adjuncts have come to feel just like Marlon Brando's character "Terry." After a few polite union/association rhetoric such as, "This will take a long time to fix," then the gloves come off, and adjunct activists suffer union/association officials who yell, threaten, intimidate, retaliate, ostracize, and work to fire the adjunct activists (or simply "non-renewal of temporary contracts").

Unions/associations have played important parts in labor movements, but lately in academia, these unions/associations are huge blocks, cementing pay and benefits for the few, and blocking the majority of professors from professional wages and working conditions. The adjuncts are thus metaphorically "beat up" by union/association officials.

There are many caring, concerned professors, whether classified as "full-time" or "adjunct." But they are over-ruled by bully officials. Thus, this Supreme Court ruling is just, and the unions/associations have no one to blame for this ruling but themselves, with good people in bad organizations.

American Faculty Association, Editor Commentary

1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting take. The union for my college has done a lot of help adjuncts, and has strong support from adjuncts. I have only now heard of this association, after the recent article to the Seattle Times. Do you have a membership? How would I join? Who meets to determine the message on behalf of Washington Part-time faculty?