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Thu Aug 29, 2013, 08:42 AM

University Tries to Nip Professors’ Union in the Bud

from In These Times:

University Tries to Nip Professors’ Union in the Bud
A cautionary letter–and the rumored retention of a notorious union-buster–show Northeastern is nervous about adjunct faculty organizing.


What does a research university in Boston have in common with the corporations Pfizer, Cablevision and IBM?

It’s retained the same union-busting law firm used by major corporations to thwart employee organizing efforts, according to Adjunct Action, a project of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Adjunct Action, which is attempting to unionize contingent faculty at private colleges across Boston, says that it’s learned that Northeastern University has secured the services of the labor and employment law firm Jackson Lewis. The move could signal intensified efforts by university administrations to trounce organizing drives among contingent faculty, which have been gaining momentum in several cities.

Adjunct Action has had modest success since beginning efforts this spring to unionize non-tenure-track faculty at private colleges across Boston. Part-time faculty at Bentley University and Tufts Colleges have already filed for union elections, which will be held this fall. Adjuncts at Northeastern have formed an organizing committee and other schools are well on their way, say union organizers.


This isn’t the first time that a university has retained a union-busting law firm. Reached by e-mail, New York University (NYU) professor of social and cultural analysis Andrew Ross notes that the NYU administration retained both Jackson Lewis and Proskauer Rose during a protracted fight with its Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC), which lost recognition after its contract expired in 2005. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://inthesetimes.com/article/15531/northeastern_tries_to_quelch_adjnuct_unin/

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