The SEIU has spread their tentacles into the realm of higher education, with campaigns underway to organize faculty at colleges and universities. According to a report entitled “The War on Conservative Teachers,” posted today by Al Katman on Frontpage.com, the SEIU holds multiple elections, identifying the departments where union support is strongest, then holding a subsequent election just in those departments in order to gain a foothold on each campus.

While membership in the union remains voluntary in most cases, if a professor works for a department that has been organized by the SEIU, even if they don’t join their new union, they still have to pay an “agency fee” equivalent to roughly 80% of what the dues are for full members.

Katman makes a sad observation regarding what this bodes for conservative teachers, stating “As a practical matter, a Conservative faculty member has to either stop teaching or pay money to support a radical left wing organization. Some may pay the agency fees; most will not, but either way either way the SEIU wins. Even sadder is the reality that distinguished Conservatives even if they were available to teach a course at George Washington would be unwilling to do so because of the requirement to pay the SEIU an agency fee.”

In California, the University of California is already organized, although they are technically not members of a union. The “Council of Faculty Associations” represents teachers in the UC System, and although – with the exception of UC Santa Cruz, they don’t have exclusive bargaining rights – they can still stage walkouts, as is imminent, ref. The Daily Californian’s report today “Faculty Prepares for Systemwide Walkout.”

Apparently the UC professors are upset because they cannot take “furlough days” on days when they are supposed to teach a class. Is this reason enough to strike? It would be a valuable lesson for UC students to reflect on the total compensation received by university instructors compared to the number of days and hours per year these instructors actually work, ref. “The Real Reason for College Tuition Increases.”

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