Adjuncts at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) are voting now on unionization. Here are three of them speaking about the benefits of unionization, as well as, from their perspectives, the difference between being part-time, contingent faculty and tenure-track faculty. For a more detailed discussion of some of the particulars, see the interview (scroll down that page for a transcript) between MICA adjunct Hnnah Brancato and Maria Maisto, an organizer for the New Faculty Majority.
Sadly, as the Chronicle relates, many full-time faculty members at a variety institutions are ambivalent at best or hostile at worst to the efforts of adjuncts to unionize and to have a voice in shared governance. Why? Probably to retain the illusion of control over their jobs, or a sense of superiority to adjuncts. Of course, this is short term thinking, because our corporate overlords many upper administrators would like to make us all into interchangeable, cheap labor units. Folks, if you are among those who do think that way, or know someone who does, please tell yourself or have that person say out loud: but for the grace of god (or God, or the gods, or the fickle choice of a hiring committee, or whatever fate you may believe in), I too could be an adjunct. That may breed just a little bit of sympathy, and deflate perhaps some unnecessary ego.
Show your support for these teachers by signing the MICA student-initiated petition.