Temple University adjuncts, full-time faculty, librarians and academic professionals have enough in common that they can hold an election to form a joint union, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board said this week. No election date has been set, but the Temple Association of University Professionals said the decision was another step toward forming a bigger, more inclusive union affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers. If successful, the union drive would effectively merge 1,300 adjunct faculty into a union currently representing some 1,300 tenured and non-tenure-track full-time faculty. Current union members will not be able to vote.
“Adjuncts deserve a voice and a seat at the table,” Art Hochner, an associate professor of human resource management at Temple and union president, said in an announcement. “Not only do we have a legal community of interest, but we also have many common interests: our students’ education, the advancement of knowledge, Temple’s historic mission and our material well-being.”
Temple said in a statement that it is “unwise for [the union] to be in a position to favor the interests of one group over another. Adjunct and full-time faculty are similar in some ways, but there are also important differences in responsibility and priority over tenure, workload, pay and contracts. For these reasons, merging adjunct faculty into [the union] does not make sense for full-time or adjunct faculty.”
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