Make your union move now

NIU temporary faculty should vote yes today on union organization. Entering a union is like eating your vegetables. It can’t hurt you; it can only make you stronger.

The temporary faculty members will vote on whether to join the University Professionals of Illinois, a union which already represents faculty at the Board of Governors. According to Assistant Provost Natalie Clark, NIU currently has about 143 temporary faculty members who are eligible to vote for or against a professional union organization. These faculty members include most of NIU’s full-time faculty assistants, instructors and temporary faculty positions.

Temporary faculty are the people who teach most of the class sections at universities today, mostly beginner-level classes. However, with budget cuts and tenure in the picture, temporary faculty are among the first things to go when push comes to shove. With the country still in an economic downturn, jobs are hard to come by, so it would be a good idea for temporary faculty to try and protect themselves.

The union vote comes after a hard fight to even get the question called, with behind-the-scenes negotiations going on with the administration and UPI President Mitch Vogel screaming bloody murder about Lowden Hall every time you turn around.

Regardless of all of the sideshow antics, temporary faculty should vote yes because at least then the option to unionize exists, even if it is never actually used. If they vote no, the chance of union representation in a tough situation is forever lost.