Information on NLRB Filing by Duquesne
President Charles Dougherty's Letter of June 23, 2012, to Duquesne Employees Addressing the NLRB Issue
I write to provide a context for the University's assertion of its First Amendment right to religious exemption from the authority of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to impose a union of our adjunct faculty on the University. I appreciate your patience for a long communication on a difficult situation.
The University was not aware of any general discontent among part-time faculty until an intention to unionize with the United Steelworkers was made public in the media. We literally found out about it in the newspapers. No group of adjuncts had approached the University to ask for dialogue.
It is important to point out that the University as such has no policies on adjuncts, only a definition. There are no University pay scales; these vary by College and Schools. They also vary by the role adjuncts play. In the professional schools, they often serve to add clinical experience. In the College, they tend to teach introductory level courses. There are no benefits or long term securities associated with these positions due to their ad hoc and transitory nature. Only in the last several years have the numbers of adjuncts in the College increased significantly. At the same time, there appear to be a growing number of part-time faculty who seek to make a full-time living by taking on multiple part-time assignments, often spread among several universities.