Faculty members at Montana State University at Bozeman, both full-time professors and adjuncts, have voted to join a union. The institution was the lone public college in the state without a faculty union, and previous efforts to unionize were voted down.
Under the proposal whose approval was announced late Tuesday, tenured and tenure-track faculty members at Montana State will form one union, and adjunct professors will form another. According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, voter turnout was high. Among tenured and tenure-track faculty members the vote was close, 168 to 156, the newspaper reported. Adjunct professors, who have little job security, especially in this economy, voted in favor of forming a union, 101 to 51, the paper said.
Both bargaining units will be affiliated with the state’s largest union, the MEA-MFT. It represents 17,500 members, including schoolteachers and faculty members at other higher-education institutions.
Eric Fever, president of the MEA-MFT, said in a news release, “We look forward to representing all faculty at MSU-Bozeman regardless of how they voted.” —Audrey Williams June