Many have now heard of the contingent faculty organizing to form a union on Pacific Lutheran University’s campus. 

Indeed, many may well have read or watched the interviews with faculty (tenured, tenure-track and contingent).The creation of a contingent union came about as the result of months of hard work and discussion by your contingent professors as a means to gain greater voice on this campus (we make up nearly 50 percent  of the faculty).

What many of you may not know is that, having filed with the National Labor Relations Board for an election on April 11, the university administration has now stepped in to block that process with what many of us feel to be spurious or specious reasons.

One appreciates that the university may well have questions but, rather than come to speak to your professors, they have chosen to use lawyers with what amounts to expensive stall tactics to block your professors from forming a union.

This has struck many of us across campus as very foreign and alien to the values of Pacific Lutheran University, the very same values which we try to impart upon you, the student body.

The creation of our contingent faculty union is not the end of the process but the beginning.

There are no set demands with the creation of our union.

We believe that the creation of this union can only create more openness and transparency on campus as well as create more clear lines of communication between the university and the contingent faculty.

It is my hope that all of us can come together to encourage the university administration to step back and allow the process to go forward unimpeded, whether or not you favor the idea of a union.

The final decision should be left to the contingent faculty as to whether the union should be created and not the decision of university legal teams.

Michael Ng, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Department of Languages and Literatures

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