This morning, non-tenure track faculty at Duke University took the first step to forming a labor union by filing a recognition petition with the National Labor Relations Board. Patterson Harkavy attorneys Mike Okun, Narendra Ghosh, and Paul Smith represent the faculty.
Duke faculty have already formed Duke Teaching First, an organization of non-tenure track faculty working to ensure ensure that Duke treats all faculty with respect, recognition, and security. By filing today's petition, non-tenure track faculty at Duke's Trinity College of Arts & Science, the Graduate School, and the Center for Documentary Studies have asked that they be represented by the Service Employees International Union.
If the Duke campaign is successful, it will join dozens of universities whose faculty have have organized in recent years. Since early December, schools including the University of Southern California, the University of Chicago, Brandeis University, and Loyola University of Chicago have voted to form unions with SEIU.
Duke faculty's efforts to form a union have been covered in the News & Observer, the Huffington Post, and the Durham Herald-Sun. Click here for more information about Duke Teaching First; for more information on faculty organizing, visit SEIU's Faculty Forward website.