Students at Pacific Lutheran University rallied in support of the contingent faculty at the university yesterday as these adjunct instructors are seeking to form a union in an effort to raise standards and conditions for students and faculty.
Students said they are seeking to hold the university accountable to its stated mission and core values: allowing its community to make free and informed decisions, part of PLU’s mission to teach students to “care -- for other people, for their communities and for the earth.”
The students gathered outside the annual meeting of the Pacific Lutheran University Corp., an advisory board of the university, and asked PLU Corp. members to stand with students in urging the PLU administration not to taint the election process.
“The Lutheran church values, which informs the values of this educational community, honors the right of employees to ‘organize for the sake of better working conditions and for workers to make free and informed decisions.’ We should do the same as a university,” said a letter from students that was delivered to PLU corporation members.
In May, students from PLU delivered petitions in support of contingent faculty to the President of Pacific Lutheran, Thomas Krise, urging him to live up to the values of collaboration and democracy espoused by the university and not to interfere with unionization process.
Contingent faculty will begin voting on whether to form a union with Adjuncts and Contingents Together Washington, a project of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 925, on Sept. 19. Ballots will be counted on Oct. 10.