Addressed to Julia Jasken and the McDaniel College Administration
Progressive Student Union is extremely disappointed at McDaniel administration’s apparent decision to oppose the adjunct union campaign, and we hope that it will remain neutral going forward. The email sent today by McDaniel Provost Julia Jasken seems intent on discouraging adjuncts from joining the union campaign – and intimidating those who do. We find this to be an affront to the very values for which our school supposedly stands. This week, a statement signed by over 400 students and 10 different clubs and Greek organizations will be delivered to McDaniel’s leadership calling on the administration to remain neutral – allowing the adjuncts to have free discussion and decision-making about their way forward. The massive numbers of students and organizations will not stand for an administration that deliberately tries to mislead our adjuncts into lies about what voting for a union means.
Our adjuncts have never been truly respected by our administration, and this letter reflects that. Couched in calm language, the letter tries to create an entirely false image of what a union is. The letter says voting for the union would be a “loss of freedom” for the adjuncts – that it would give others “authority to set the terms of employment” – but in reality, exactly the opposite is true. Winning a union would be a loss of control for the administration, who now have complete authority to set the terms, and it would give freedom to the adjuncts to bargain collectively to improve their jobs, and our learning. It would allow them to become full members of the McDaniel community. It is the administration that chooses to continually exploit our adjuncts and keep their jobs precarious, underpaid, and undervalued. They see any threat to change this dynamic as a threat to their power. No matter how many “adjunct luncheons” the administration may hold, nothing will fundamentally change unless we as students and teachers collectively come together to fight.
The email focuses on the role of the organization – SEIU – with which our adjunct have chosen to work in their effort to form a union. As the administration knows, the campaign to start an adjunct union at McDaniel was started by our own McDaniel adjuncts. Our adjuncts decided to come together to fight against poverty wages, and the complete lack of healthcare and job security. Our adjuncts, not SEIU, will determine the most important issues to fight for in the contract, and vote on it themselves. We are deeply troubled with the slew of false claims and misleading jargon that the administration attempted to use to scare people off from joining the union. We hope that the College will reconsider its approach – choosing to remain neutral as adjuncts discuss and decide how to proceed.
The student body will not tolerate this blatant attempt at union-busting, and we will not back down in our support of our adjuncts’ right to organize and, if they choose, to unionize. We stand in our solidarity with our adjuncts.
Progressive Student Union