Saint Rose adjuncts vote to unionize

Thumbnail image for college of saint rose western aveAdjuncts at the College of Saint Rose have voted to unionize with SEIU Local 200 by a tally of 175-61. In a statement, Saint Rose said it "will work with the SEIU to address the issues concerning the adjunct faculty." [Supporters of Saint Rose Adjunct Faculty FB group] [College of Saint Rose]

Contingent labor is a big issue across higher education right now. Adjuncts make up a majority of nation's faculty work force -- all the while they often make much less than tenure-track faculty and have little job security. And in recent years at campuses around the nation there has been a rising call for unionization. [Chronicle of Higher Ed] [US House Committee on Education and the Workforce] [NYT]

Earlier on AOA: Work Week: Con Job: Stories of Adjunct and Contingent Labor

The College of Saint Rose advertises on AOA.


Way to go, Saint Rose adjuncts!

fyi -- The film "Con Job" will be shown at the Honest Weight Co-op this Thursday at 7 pm. Free showing. (Irony in that. When will the co-op workers -- many of whom are part-timers and subs -- see the light and unionize?)

@chrisck: They tried, and it hasn't gone anywhere yet that I know of. As a member I am rather appalled at how management dealt with it.

Re: St. Rose: thank goodness, the problem with higher education in this country is that it doesn't cost enough! There are no profits here, as St. Rose is a non-profit entity, so where is the extra money going to come from?

Re: the Co-op, it would be unbelievably sweet justice if a unionized work force lead to it going bust. There's nothing better than brute economics leading to the self-immolation of ignorant socialists.

I know this has been hashed out before (in terms of the COOP unionizing), but given its "co-operative" nature, the COOP isn't managed like your traditional business (like a Whole Foods). Essentially, you have paid employees working alongside "member workers" who do not get paid, but do receive a discount for the hours they put in. Therefore, that primary "union" lever of a strike would be difficult to start, let alone maintain, given the fact that the COOP has over 1000 "member workers" to jump in if the 200 or so employees decide to strike.

Not that I'm stating that I'm against the unionizing efforts, I'm just stating that I think the COOP's employees have looked into the details a bit more and have realized that the inherent "power structure" of union vs management is much more cloudy at the COOP, given that third leg of a voting membership, and therefore have sought to work through those channels instead.

Additionally, after the announcement that a union may be formed resulted in some bad blood between the Board and the employees, I think the members have attempted to step up their participation in those matters that are important to the COOP's employees via the institutional mechanisms inherent in the COOP's democratic/cooperative by-laws.

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