Where in the World Are the Adjunct Unions?

From Chronicle Vitae:


Since its launch last year, the Service Employees International Union's Adjunct Action campaign—an attempt to collectivize part-time professors in major metropolitan areas—seems to have built up some real momentum. It's grabbed its fair share of headlines, and despite a few hiccups, the national union can now tout its success by saying that it has organized more than 21,000 contingent faculty members so far.

But as the broader adjunct-unionization movement continues to expand nationwide, it’s increasingly difficult to keep tabs on what’s happening at every institution. So we’ve decided to help out.

Below you’ll find a map of every institution that has filed a petition for union election, along with a summary of those results. Click on the colored markers—or the pie charts, which will zoom you in further—to see who voted favorably, who voted not-so-favorably, and who’s still in the thick of organizing. We’ll work to keep the map updated as news is announced. If you notice an institution is missing from our archive, let us know.

View Adjunct Union Votes: Nationwide in a full-screen map.

Tired of clicking around? Here’s a brief region-by-region summary:

Washington, D.C. and Maryland

The nation’s capital city was the first metropolitan area targeted by SEIU, an effort that predated the launch of Adjunct Action in April 2013. After organizing part-time faculty at George Washington University (in 2005), Montgomery College (2008), American University (2012), and Georgetown University (2013), the local chapter expanded its efforts.

Howard University and the Maryland Institute College of Art ran successful union elections in April 2014, and adjuncts at the University of the District of Columbia are slated to find out their election results in late August.

View Adjunct Union Votes: DC/Baltimore Area in a full-screen map.


After rallying contingent workers in Washington, D.C., and its Maryland suburbs, the national labor union started a similar regional effort in Boston. The name of that strategy? You guessed it: Adjunct Action.

Tufts University marked the first union win in September 2013, followed by Lesley University and Northeastern University earlier this year. But adjuncts at Bentley University narrowly—and surprisingly—voted against unionization.

View Adjunct Union Votes: Boston Area in a full-screen map.

Los Angeles and the Bay Area

Then the strategy expanded to Los Angeles. Whittier College, the pioneer of the bunch, moved quickly: Adjuncts there filed with the National Labor Relations Board in November 2013, and by the end of December 2013, they had voted in favor of unionizing through SEIU.

At the same time, Loyola Marymount University and the University of La Verne were also taking steps to unionize, but their efforts proved to be much thornier. After administrators pushed back, both efforts were halted—one planned vote count is postponed indefinitely, another canceled altogether.

Months later, they remain in limbo, says Andrew Hagelshaw, a spokesperson for SEIU’s public division. Loyola Marymount adjuncts are, again, building toward a distant election, and La Verne ballots are being held by the NLRB. It’s unclear when they will be counted.

Elsewhere in California, however, the campaign has moved forward. Adjuncts at institutions in Laguna Beach, Oakland, and San Francisco all saw success this summer.

Read the full story and see the interactive map here.