How 'microunits' could shape the faculty labor movement
- Despite protests from administration, graduate students at Yale University are working to unionize within individual academic departments, an effort which could shape similar efforts among adjunct and other faculty at campuses throughout the country.
- The Chronicle reports on the new mobilization tactic, which undercuts regulations and agreements which may strictly prohibit campus-wide union creation.
- The university is calling for guidance from the National Labor Relations Board to weigh in on whether this process is fair, or simply a chance to game labor and salary structures.
The numbers are not in favor of college administrators on the subject of faculty wage equity. Half of the nation's higher education teaching workforce is staffed by adjunct and graduate student workers. With labor boards ruling in favor of specific unionization efforts, chances are that the numbers will be forced to grow as full time professors may get priced out of the picture in an industry trying to find and grow revenue opportunities.
The approach for campus executives in this position is to regard unionization efforts with transparency of budgets, collective bargaining tenets, and preparation to share with students and the public the financial limits of earmarking already thin resources in the name of academic quality and wage equity.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education Yale graduate students' 'Microunit' unionization strategy could have nationwide implications
- Education Dive Moody's: Grad student unionization will negatively impact credit