The 1,300 adjuncts at Temple University came one step closer to becoming part of the faculty union this week.
The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board approved a request to allow an election, and if a simple majority of adjuncts who vote say yes, the adjuncts will become part of the Temple Association of University Professionals.
If approved, the move would nearly double the size of the faculty union, which currently has about 1,400 members.
Art Hochner, president of the union, said he expected the election to take place by December.
"The adjuncts deserve to have a voice at the table and I think all faculty can work together and will work together to do the best for all of us and our students," said Hochner, a professor in the Fox School of Business.
Adjuncts nationally work without benefits or job security, often for little pay and with no stable career path, though providing a substantial portion of the higher education workforce. In recent years, various efforts have been launched to unionize adjuncts in large cities, including Philadelphia.
The union currently represents full-time faculty members at the university, except in the schools of law, medicine, dentistry and podiatric medicine.
Temple University's administration has already begun actively opposing the move.
Temple Provost Provost Hai-Lung Dai sent an email to the university community, noting that adjuncts have received a minimum salary increase of more than eight percent and contracts of longer than one semester.