Temple University's 1,400 adjunct professors will become part of the faculty union, after more than two-thirds of those voting approved the proposal.
The tally - 609-266 - came after years of efforts to unionize the adjunct faculty. The Temple Association of University Professionals will double in size as a result of the vote, whose results were released by both the university and the union.
Adjunct faculty become union members immediately but their work terms will have to be negotiated, and the vote has to be officially certified by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, said Art Hochner, president of the union and a professor in the Fox School of Business.
"This is a great step for all faculty at Temple," he said. "With all faculty belonging to TAUP, we will be able to have a unified voice and achieve the professional respect they all deserve."
The win for Temple, he said, "is a great first step" in the larger efforts by many of the 15,000 adjunct faculty at area college campuses to unionize.
The Temple administration had opposed the move. On Tuesday, administrators signaled their intention to accept the decision.
"Now that the vote is completed, it is time to move forward," provost Hai-Lung Dai said in an email to faculty. "Soon we will begin working with TAUP to produce a collective bargaining agreement that includes adjunct faculty."
Adjuncts across the country work without benefits or job security, often for little pay and with no stable career path, though they provide a substantial portion of the higher education workforce. Various efforts have been launched to unionize adjuncts in large cities, including Philadelphia.
At Temple, the union previously represented full-time faculty except in the Schools of Law, Medicine, Dentistry, and Podiatric Medicine.