Friday, December 18, 2009

Press Release: EMU Part-Time Faculty File to Join Union


Ypsilanti, MI -- Part-time lecturers at Eastern Michigan University have filed for a representation election with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC). A majority of these lecturers have joined the Eastern Michigan University Federation of Teachers (EMUFT), which already represents full-time lecturers at EMU. Part-time lecturers, who call themselves the Adjunct Lecturers’ Organizing Committee (ALOC), filed an accretion petition and membership cards with MERC on Wednesday, December 9, 2009.

"For me, one of the central goals for bringing part-time lecturers into the EMUFT is to secure the fundamental right of all teachers to have a determining voice in the conditions under which we work," says Mark Wenzel, a part-time lecturer in the History and Philosophy department. “The adjuncts, who comprise 36% of EMU teachers and teach 1/3 of its contact hours, do not have job security,” he adds. “If we think highly of our students, we'll cherish their teachers."

Full-time lecturers, which number about 98 and are represented by EMUFT, are eager to have their part-time colleagues as fellow union members. ALOC estimates EMU employs approximately 450 part-timers every semester.

“It is high time that the part-time folks have a voice,” said Karen Kramer Soebbing, a full-time lecturer in the College of Education since 1983 and a member of EMUFT since 2001. “Part-time lecturers teach hundreds of undergraduate and some graduate courses at EMU as well as provide Internet based and off-site instruction. In some cases, part-time lecturers' work hours exceed the university's requirements for ‘full-time’ employment. Many have worked for the university for 10, 20 and even 30 years. They deserve much more.”

"Because adjuncts often have non-academic professions, they bring real world, practical experience to the EMU classroom," says geographer and part-time lecturer, Tom Wagner. This experience serves students well in preparing for future employment. "It's not about money; it’s about the resources and respect we adjuncts need to improve the quality of education at EMU."

ALOC is happy to join the ranks of other non-tenure-track employee unions in Michigan. Unions at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Western Michigan University and Wayne State University have organized in recent years. On these and other union campuses, instructors have bargained contracts that contain improved job security and better wages and benefits, among other gains. Like the unions at U of M, MSU, and Wayne State, the EMUFT is affiliated with the AFT Michigan, the state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. The American Federation of Teachers currently counts among its membership more than 45,000 non-tenure-track faculty in more than 100 local unions nationwide.


  1. The text of my comments to the EMU Board of Regents on February 16, 2010

    Good afternoon. My name is Peter Thomason and I am a part-time instructor of Construction Management and Building Technology in the School of Engineering Technology. I am also happy to say that I am a member of the EMU alumni association.

    I have lived in Ypsilanti for nearly 25 years and been involved in this community as a teacher, a business owner and leader, a parent, and a board member of various organizations. Like all of you, I have a busy life which includes both full and part-time commitments, all of which are important to me and to which I am passionately dedicated.

    Since 2005 I have taught between 3 and 9 graduate and undergraduate credits each term. I teach courses that cover a wide range of topics including: Professionalism and Ethics; Building Systems; Analysis of Commercial Building Structures; Analysis of Commercial Blue Prints; and Contracts, Documents, Regulations & Specifications.

    You can read the rest of the comments at

  2. Thanks for adding your comments ~ and most especially including the link to your blog, Not My Plans.

    In addition to adding the link to my collection of adjunct blogs, I'm sharing "The Thomason Family Farm" locally.


pull up a soapbox and share your 2¢


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...