Senate votes to support adjunct unionization
May 17, 2018
Last week’s Associated Student Government (ASG) meeting featured the senate’s support for non-tenure track faculty, discussion about Measure A and new methods of senator outreach.
Provost Dennis Jacobs and General Counsel John Ottoboni represented the university at the Thursday night meeting, answering the senate’s questions about the potential unionization of adjunct lectures.
Their appearance followed the previous week’s discussion about unionization from non-tenure track faculty.
Both Jacobs and Ottoboni admitted that the university made a mistake by ignoring the needs of lectures and adjunct faculty.
However, Ottoboni stressed his concern that this is not the right time for a union, for it would introduce a third party, affecting the relationship between administrators and faculty.
“From our standpoint, if we could have a little bit of time, we will be able to address all of the issues that have been raised,” Ottoboni said.
The discussion continued with junior senator Rory Pannkuk asking if unionization would lead to a tuition increase, a concern held by many students and raised during previous ASG meetings.
Ottoboni replied that it would not be fair to say that a union would signify an increase in tuition.
Instead, the answer to this question would depend upon the resulting negitiation between Santa Clara and the union.
Questions were also raised about the main implications of unionization, including the potential for a faculty walkout.
In response to these questions, adjunct faculty in the audience — who were speaking on behalf of their unionization colleagues—promised that if a union was to form, walkouts and strikes would be a last resort.
After much discussion, the senate voted to pass the resolution supporting the rights of non-tenure track faculty to unionize, with an added amendment that the university work to ensure student tuition is not raised.
Alex Mabanta from the Asian Law Alliance (ALA) talked to ASG about Measure A, a new proposed voting system for the city of Santa Clara.
Measure A was created in response to a lawsuit against the city of Santa Clara from the ALA for its current election system of city council members.
The current system is an at-large election system, which is illegal under the California Voting Rights Act.
Mabanta criticized Measure A, saying that it is illegal as it creates gerrymandered districts and supports the disenfranchisement of minority voters.
He mentioned that the ALA would sue the city again if Measure A were to pass. Measure A will appear on the June ballot.
Mabanta is asking ASG to represent Santa Clara students and denounce Measure A, as the Multicultural Center has already done.
At the next senate meeting, a resolution will be presented and voted on, outlining ASG’s s renouncement of Measure A.
ASG Chief Justice Rachel Herzog, junior senator Alex Perlman and first-year senator Kyle Andrews proposed a new bylaw changing the mandated senator office hours.
Currently, senators are required to hold a certain number of office hours per week so that they are easily accessible to their constituents.
A number of senators have failed to hold the required amount of office hours—or any office hours at all.
As a result, senate outreach will now consist of senators attending Registered Student Organization meetings as well as interacting with their constituents outside of office hours.
The topic of senator office hours will be voted on the next time the senate meets.
The next senate meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 24 in the Williman Room.
There is no senate meeting during Week 7.
Contact Emma Pollans at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.