Faculty Should Choose Their Unions

I don’t often agree with Robert Weissberg, but he makes a lot of very good points at Minding the Campus about faculty unionization at the University of Illinois. Weissberg refers to a Chronicle of Higher Education article that emphasizes the tensions between adjuncts and tenure-track faculty among faculty union groups. But the reality is that all faculty need to stand together, and seek to protect all faculty against a common foe.

Weissberg strongly criticizes the University of Illinois administration for spending large sums of money in an attempt to prohibit adjuncts and tenure-track faculty from being in the same union:

Who should have a right to determine union membership — the boss or the employees? The answer seems obvious, given that unions are the voluntary coming together of workers who know that they and only they can protect their rights and working conditions. The administration of the University of Illinois should stop trying to divide and conquer its faculty and come to the table to begin collective bargaining in good faith.

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