Last fall, AcademeBlog reported on the case of Robin Meade, an adjunct instructor and head of the adjunct faculty union at Moraine Valley Community College in Illinois, who was fired in 2013 and banned from campus because she wrote a letter critical of how the administration treated adjuncts. Meade wrote an essay about her experience.
On January 22, 2015, Administrative Law Judge Ellen Maureen Strizak for the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of Meade as an unfair labor practice.
Under the ruling, Moraine Valley is required to “offer Robin Meade immediate and full reinstatement to the position of adjunct faculty professor without prejudice to her seniority or other rights and privileges” and provide her “backpay with interest.”
The Moraine Valley administration was also ordered to cease and desist from “interfering with, restraining or coercing employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed them in the Act” and from “retaliating against employees” for their union activity.
Without the existence of a union and the enforcement of legal protection against retaliation for union activities, it’s unlikely that Meade would have ever gotten her job back even with the favorable legal ruling last fall, and any compensation would have required many years of litigation that no adjunct could afford for such a minimal payout.