The National Labor Relations Board on Friday unanimously sided with adjuncts at Elon University, rejecting Elon’s argument that adjuncts are “managerial employees” who do not have collective bargaining rights. “The students will benefit from this also, and I think the administration will come to see negotiating with us as in their own best interest as well, especially as Elon stands for inclusive, progressive ideals in its pedagogy and philosophy,” Mark Iwinski, adjunct professor of art and member of the Service International Employees Union-affiliated Elon Faculty Union, said in a statement. Elon adjuncts voted to form a union in 2019 to try to improve their working conditions, which include semester-to-semester or year-to-year contracts with no guarantee of renewal.
Elon declined immediate comment on the NLRB’s decision. The NLRB said that the university “has simply failed to present more than ‘paper authority’ suggesting that the petitioned-for classifications play any role in its shared governance committees.” Elon’s “failure to identify more than one petitioned-for faculty member serving on any of the employer’s committees, warrant a finding that the petitioned-for classifications are not structurally included in the employer’s collegial bodies,” the NLRB also said.