Phi Beta Cons

Unionizing the Adjuncts — A Very Bad Idea

On Minding the Campus today, Robert Weissberg has an essay arguing that it would be a bad idea to unionize adjunct faculty members. He maintains that doing so would not solve the problems of too many would-be professors chasing too few positions and too much of the typical university’s budget going for things other than teaching.

I’ll add one more point. Unionization is coercive — at least it is the way it is currently practiced. Those who want to try union representation don’t simply sign up. Under our labor law, unionization has been turned into a political matter; if a majority votes for a union, then everyone is compelled to accept the organization as their bargaining representative and also pay dues to it (except in right-to-work states). That’s bad enough, but unions usually use a lot of the money they collect for political purposes that at least some of those it purports to represent find abhorrent.

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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