Adjunct faculty members at Seattle University filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board Thursday to form a union with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 925.
Adjuncts — faculty members who are not permanent employees on the tenure track — say they do much of the teaching at the university, but don’t make nearly as much as full-time professors. They also have lesser job benefits and little job stability.
The activism at Seattle University is part of a broader movement by adjunct professors nationwide to win better working conditions and higher wages. In Tacoma, adjunct faculty members at the Pacific Lutheran University held an election last year on whether to join SEIU, but the votes were impounded after PLU argued that it was exempt from NLRB rules because it is a religious institution.
The NLRB will next choose a date for a secret ballot election.