Steelworkers declare victory in organizing Point Park University adjuncts

From Pittsburgh City Paper:

The Adjunct Faculty Association of the United Steelworkers (AFA-USW), says adjunct instructors at Point Park University have voted to form a union. After a campaign that has been underway for the first half of 2014, the vote in favor was 172 to 79; a handful of additional votes are under review.

"The adjunct instructors have spoken very clearly with this vote," Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard said in a statement. "Now it's time for the Point Park administration to work with them to craft a fair collective bargaining agreement."

In the university's own statement, spokesman Lou Corsaro acknowledged that "adjunct faculty voted in favor of United Steel Workers representation. We are pleased that so many adjunct faculty members took the time to make their voices heard on this important issue. We respect the decision made by those eligible to vote and look forward to working with all faculty members to fulfill Point Park's mission of educating the next generation."

The vote was carried out earlier this month by mail-in ballot; some 314 adjuncts were eligible to vote.

Organizers were giddy about the results.

"It's a decisive victory," said Matthew Ussia, a volunteer with the union who himself works as a non-tenure-track/full time teacher at Duquesne University, by phone. "We're still reveling. I'm actually standing outside Tonic [a bar not far from the federal Department of Labor office where the votes were counted] right now."

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