UnprofessionalOn Aug 6, 2015 Latest updates
An adjunct professor who opposed unionization criticized SEIU’s ignorance, divisiveness, one-size-fits-all organizing tactics, and unprofessional communications style.
Jeff Stockton, who has taught business classes in Washington University’s University College, voted against unionizing that campus. He is also on the roster as an adjunct at Webster, though he “hasn’t accepted offers for a year or two.” Outspoken in his “no” vote at Washington University, he was also vocal in the “no” campaign at Webster.
He places blame for the failed Webster campaign entirely on SEIU, for whom he spares no vitriol.
“I’m not against unionizing. I’m not against collective bargaining at all,” Stockton insists. “I’m against SEIU. SEIU practices the lowest forms of union behavior, most of which are anachronistic for the 21st century, and certainly out of synch with higher education at a top-tier university.”
As one example, Stockton claims, “The local leadership had not taken the time to even learn that Wash. U. was not a Catholic school.”…
Stockton is also disdainful of SEIU’s communications.
“They’re incompetent in maintaining a website that you, as an educator and as a faculty member at Wash. U., could be proud of,” he says via email. “Communications that come from or are represented by the SEIU are typically coarse, poorly worded, embarrassingly peppered with typos, misspellings and wrong word choices.”
Instead of getting to know the workers they now represent at Wash. U., Stockton complains, the organizers used the same tactics they’ve employed to organize hotel workers.
“They do not understand the relative independence of thought and self-direction that most adjuncts at Wash. U. (and Webster) bring to their jobs at a university. They certainly do not understand, or care to understand or appreciate, the mostly collaborative and collegial environment that we want and work to create and maintain,” he continues. “It is in the nature and function of the SEIU to create discord between adjuncts and unrepresented faculty and staff, and even between adjuncts who wish to join the SEIU as members and those who do not.”