Adjuncts Vote in Favor of Union
Published: Sunday, May 5, 2013
Updated: Sunday, May 5, 2013 22:05
Georgetown adjunct faculty members voted overwhelmingly in favor of unionization with Services Employees International Union Local 500 on Friday.
The motion to unionize required a majority vote of the participating adjunct members. Nearly half of the 650 eligible adjunct professors at Georgetown participated, with 70 percent voting in favor of unionization. SEIU, however, will not represent adjunct professors at the Georgetown University Law Center or the Georgetown University Medical Center.
“This victory will help improve conditions at Georgetown, but because we are joining adjuncts at other institutions across the region, the implications go far beyond Georgetown,” Kurt Brandhorst, an adjunct professor of philosophy, wrote in a press release issued by SEIU.
SEIU, based in Maryland and Washington, D.C., also represents a total of 2,400 adjunct faculty members at American University, The George Washington University and Montgomery College in Maryland.
Friday’s vote was the latest step in the months-long unionization process that began in August, when SEIU first approached adjunct faculty members. With the addition of Georgetown University, SEIU will represent nearly three-fourths of adjunct faculty members in Washington, D.C. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, SEIU hopes to represent adjunct members at enough universities in the area in order to use market pressures and improve working conditions.
Local SEIU spokesperson Christopher Honey noted the respectful way that Georgetown handled the unionization efforts.
“They were not just neutral but very cooperative throughout the entire process,” Honey said to the Chronicle of Higher Education. “They really upheld their social values.”