Last week, adjunct faculty at Elon University voted to unionize by nearly a 2-1 margin, with 112 votes in favor of the Union and 68 in opposition. The faculty will affiliate with SEIU Workers United Southern Region, and will now move forward scheduling negotiations with the university.
Patterson Harkavy represented the faculty before the National Labor Relations Board. Elon’s administration sought to deny its faculty the right to unionize by claiming they were “managerial” employees. Patterson Harkavy challenged that position, and in January secured a ruling that found Elon’s adjuncts were not managerial, and that the unit they sought to organize was appropriate.
Elon faculty’s campaign is part of a growing union movement of academics in the South and across the country. It comes just a year after unionized non-tenure track faculty at Duke University won an average pay increase of 14% across departments, longer term contracts and assurances of course continuity. Patterson Harkavy also represented Duke faculty in their 2016 campaign, which was the first successful faculty union election at a private university in the South in decades.