Adjuncts at Point Park U. Vote to Unionize

Adjunct instructors at Point Park University, a private institution in Pittsburgh, have voted to form a union affiliated with the United Steelworkers, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has reported. The vote was 172 to 79 in favor of unionization.

The United Steelworkers’ Adjunct Faculty Association previously mounted a similar union drive at another Pittsburgh institution, Duquesne University, where adjuncts voted in 2012 to unionize. Duquesne has challenged that union election, arguing that as a Roman Catholic institution it is exempt from the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board.

Point Park has said that it will respect the outcome of its adjuncts’ election. Meanwhile, the university has challenged a unionization effort involving its full-time faculty members, asserting that they are managers ineligible for collective bargaining, consistent with a 1980 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that has effectively barred professors at private colleges from unionizing.

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