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 is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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