To:      Workplace
 Date:    December 12, 2000
 Posted:  January  04, 2001
 Subject: Study Shows Unions Save Academy Universities shift to voiceless
                   casual teachers, Unions preserve integrity of education

A new study, released today by the Coalition of Graduate
Employee Unions (CGEU), describes the crisis infecting today's 
universities,and explains why unions are the solution.  The report, 
Casual Nation analyzes casualization, or use of temporary low-paid labor:

The percent of part-time faculty has grown from 22% in 1970 to 41% in
1995. Universities award more new PhDs than they hire each year one-third
more in 1995. Half of all college teachers now work for inadequate
pay and have littleor no benefits or institutional voice.  
Graduate teachers provide 18 percent of all teaching in 
institutions of higher education. While women and minorities comprise 
40 percent of recent PhDs, they make up 58 percent of temporary 
faculty and only 30 percent of tenure or tenure-track faculty.  
Casualization is re-segregating universities.

Educators and education are harmed by these trends.  More and more academics
have no voice over the conditions of their employment and without such a
voicethe quality of education cannot be protected. Graduate employees are
standing up for themselves across the country, said Jon Curtiss, an
organizer with the Mchigan Federation of Teachers.  They want
health benefits, regular pay increases and a voice on the job; they want the
power that comes with union representation.

The international movement to unionize university teachers is a direct and
decisive response to these trends.  Unionization gives graduate and other
teachers a voice so they can preserve their livelihood and the quality of
their teaching. The CGEU is made up of the 27 graduate student unions on 63
campuses that have won recognition in the United States and another 20
unions in Canada.  It also includes dozens of additional unions that are working toward recognition.  Over 30 years of a recognized union at Madison gives us the experience to know that a union is essential to graduate student
training and teaching undergraduates, says Kevin Wehr, University of
Madison-Wisconsin Sociology Teaching Assistant, Teaching Assistants'
Association, AFL-CIO, AFT local 3220.  Despite many attempts to destroy the
union, we have successfully maintained decent pay and benefits for all
teachers and protected the rights of international students.

Since November 2000, there have been 3 substantial new graduate assistant
union victories: Two new unions were recognized, at University of
Massachusetts Boston and University of Washington; and the National Labor
Relations Board certified the country's first graduate assistant union at a
private university, New York University.  Lisa Jessup, Lead Organizer of
GSOC-UAW at NYU remarked, Graduate teachers at universities are employees.
Public universities have known that for years.  Now the NLRB is telling
private universities that they should recognize that we, too, have the right
to form unions.

 Following the historic NLRB unanimous decision giving union rights to
 graduate teachers at private universities, an already fast- growing national
 grassroots movement in the academy and society at large has been accelerated.
 All over this continent, scholars are joining together to ensure that
 corporate values don't  override educational values, says J.T. Way, chair
 of Yale University's  Graduate Employees and Students Organization (GESO),
 which for ten years has battled a recalcitrant administration for union
 recognition.  Organizing graduate teachers and other casual academic
 workers is the first step in restoring academic freedom and independent
The full text of the report can be found at

Casual Nation is part of a national effort to examine the crisis caused
by casualization and ensure academics the right to organize.  Recent relevant
press includes:

On November 22, 2000, the Coalition on the Academic Workforce (CAW), a
group of 25 academic societies in the humanities and social sciences, found
that full-time faculty comprised only half of its survey population, and that
casual academic workers suffered from at Bryn Mawr College and President
of the American Philological Association (classics), The present practice
jeopardizes the next generation of teachers and scholars.  It also
shortchanges undergraduates, especially in the first two years, since often
the faculty with whom they have the greatest contact are both transient and
without a place or voice in the institution.

The summary of data from surveys by the Coalition on the Academic Workforce
can be accessed on the AHA website at  A complete
list of the members of the Coalition on the Academic Workforce is available
upon request.  For more information, contact Arnita A. Jones or Robert
Townsend at the American Historical Association, (202) 544-2422.

In a 217-page report released last August, Human Rights Watch found that
routine violations of workers'  basic rights and inconsistent and weak
enforcement of labor laws have stacked the deck against U.S. workers.
Workers' basic rights are routinely violated in the Unites States because
U.S. labor law is so feebly enforced and so filled with loopholes, said a
press release from Human Rights Watch.

The report is available at

In November, the group Scholars, Actors and Writers for Social Justice
(SAWSJ) released a University Code of Conduct calling on educational
institutions to respect freedom of association, provide living wages to all
workers and stop discrimination and harassment of workers.

The code of conduct states: Colleges and universities are threatened today
by the growing sway of corporate values over university life.  We see evidence
of this influence in curricular decisions, research priorities, the declining
role of faculty, and most visibly in the sphere of employment relations.
University employees are often denied elementary democratic rights of free
speech, economic security, and equal opportunity.  No educational institution
can fulfill its mission unless these rights are protected.  To that end, every
educational institution should become a-fair labor practice employer

The complete text of the code can be found on page 62 of the Fall / Winter
edition of New Labor Forum.

Casual Nation follows up on the report Casual in Blue produced by
the GESO, the Graduate Employees and Students Organization, which documented
that 70% of contact hours at Yale University were performed by graduate
teachers and adjunct professors.

A complete text of Casual in Blue can be found at

For more information 
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