I received a number of letters from the University about the potential of unionizing adjunct faculty. I am very strongly opposed to this effort.
Many years ago I was forced to join the Teamsters Union in order to secure employment.
It was a minimum wage, part-time job. During those two years I experienced no benefit whatsoever from membership in the union. The union took my money and delivered no benefit. Union employees were hired, terminated, had schedules changed, etc. without any involvement of the union.
The only reasonable justification for organizing labor is to counter abusive management practices.
This situation does not exist at the University of La Verne. For over 25 years we have worked with you, the various deans, administration and staff to build a strong university that continues to grow in reputation and quality.
Any union cannot be reasonably expected to contribute to this effort because the goal of union management is to take money from their members and pay themselves.
Adjunct faculty enjoy a rewarding relationship with university management and I do not want to see a third party, with no expertise in what we do, interfere with that relationship. I do not know, but suspect, that the motivation of those backing this ill-conceived notion is money. The University has been forward thinking in this area to a greater extent than almost any other institution in the area. The university has a program in place to increase adjunct compensation and has done so on a regular basis. One of our competitors has not had a significant pay increase in about 15 years. The point is that there may be some abuses in adjunct compensation but the University of La Verne is not in that group.
In addition to my personal experience with unions, I have had to deal with collective bargaining units from a management perspective. Based on those experiences I am of the opinion that unionization rarely benefits the worker, frequently works against employees, and does organizational and economic damage to the firm. This effort is not good and should be vigorously opposed.
E. Forrest “Skip” Boyd III
Senior Adjunct Professor of Marketing
I am a graduate of the University of La Verne and have been an adjunct instructor at the University for more than 17 years. Recently I have been considering my position on this issue of organizing for collective bargaining.
I have read much online about the subject and have reflected back on my tenure as an educator at La Verne.
First of all, let me just say that I am thankful and appreciative of the opportunity to be associated with La Verne, something I am very proud of and for the nearly two decades of support, mentoring and personal growth I have received as a result of being honored with an adjunct faculty position at the University.
Next I want to express my thanks to the staff of the San Fernando Valley Campus in particular.
The management and staff there have always treated me with respect, courtesy and have been efficient and resourceful in supporting my effort to deliver value and an excellent classroom experience to our students – our valued customers.
I am very proud to be a member of that team.
I have watched the stature and performance of the University grow and prosper.
I have also observed the way the administration always focused on the needs of students first, but included the needs of faculty and staff in equal and appropriate proportions.
I have watched the progression and success of the University’s business strategy in a tough and competitive marketplace where we are surrounded by mighty academic giants with economic assets that dwarf La Verne.
This success and continued success is a testament to the drive, commitment and expertise of the management and mission of this wonderful institution.
I have great confidence in the skill and judgment of the staff and management of the University.
Two things that appear to be missing in the dialog regarding unionizing the adjunct faculties are: the effects on the quality and value of the educational experience from the student’s perspective and the economic viability of the University with a changed management dynamic. This bothers me, especially when I contemplate the presence of a third party, between me and the staff and management that I have enjoyed such a wonderful working relationship over the many, many years.
In conclusion, to be direct and to the point, I am not in favor of this effort to unionize, to change the way we have organized and managed our relationship that has worked so well these many years.
Adjunct Professor of Business