Adjunct teachers at Seattle University have been trying to unionize at the college.  An adjunct teacher or professor is a teacher that does not have a permanent job or is part-time.  The National Labor Relations Board held a vote last summer at the university so teachers could choose to be union or not.  The Service Employees International Union has been working with Seattle University teachers and wants to represent them as their union.

On March 25th, Organizer Tony Kimbrough and I joined several hundred workers at Seattle University for a rally supporting SU adjunct faculty.  On April 15th about 1000 faculty and student staged a protest at the college and 20 protesters were arrested exercising their right to free speech and assembly.

The votes were supposed to be counted this spring.  The university has appealed the election and that stops any counting of ballots.  The school says it is a Catholic university, and unionization would infringe on the schools religious freedoms.  The Catholic Church has supported unions in the past when workers fight for better wages and benefits.  The Labor Board has ruled to proceed and have the ballots counted and the university has filed more appeals.

The Seattle City Council and many other private universities have come out in support of the teachers efforts.  The president of the university has been given a petition with over 500 signatures asking the Catholic college to stop fighting the teachers’ efforts and let them unionize if they chose to.

Gregg Gibeau