October 27th, 2014
A group of Washington University adjunct instructors have taken a crucial step toward forming a union.
The Service Employees International Union Local 1 has filed a petition for a union election with the federal government on the instructors’ behalf.
The petition makes Washington University’s adjunct faculty the first such group in St. Louis to reach that milestone amid a larger nationwide push for higher pay and improved job security.
Adjuncts are typically part-time, low-wage faculty who teach classes when full-time instructors are already overloaded with courses.
Among their major complaints are low wages and a lack of job security. Adjuncts typically work on semester-long contracts, not knowing whether they will be asked to work beyond their current semester.