The fact that only a quarter of the current academic work force is tenured or on track for tenure has gotten the attention of the Service Employees International Union ("SEIU") and other unions. The part time adjuncts who along with graduate assistants now do most of the teaching at colleges and universities are considered by the unions to be prime targets for organization and the union have been conducting campaigns particularly in urban areas to add those teachers to their ranks.
On February 25, 2015, adjunct professors across the country held demonstrations to distribute information and on a few campuses walked out of class assignments to call attention to their desire for increased pay and benefits and better working conditions. The SEIU participated in these demonstrations.
- As a result of this increased union activity on college campuses, it is prudent for colleges and universities to: Review the current pay, benefits and working conditions of adjunct professors and consider whether improvements are needed;
- Consider the position the institution will take if its adjunct professors demonstrate an interest in becoming part of a union;
- Adopt a plan regarding how the institution will respond to an effort by adjunct professors to become part of a union.