On Nov. 3, 30 non-tenure-track (NTT) faculty announced an effort to unionize, distributing a letter calling for their colleagues to join them in establishing an NTT union at LMU. They outlined grievances with pay, academic freedom and job stability, echoing the issues that led to an earlier unionization effort in 2013.
Over the last several decades, universities have increased their reliance on NTT instructors, reflecting a national decline in tenured positions in higher education. These instructors are paid far less than tenured professors, without any of the labor protections that come with tenure. Collective bargaining with a union could help LMU’s NTT faculty resolve inequities that they’ve been frustrated with for over a decade.
As students, it’s imperative that we support their cause. Better pay, increased protections and improved academic freedom have direct, tangible impacts on the education we receive.