PLU adjunct faculty lose union vote, say they’ll try again

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in Jan.15

Adjunct faculty members at Pacific Lutheran University, who won a precedent-setting national victory last month when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) endorsed their right to form a union, appear to have lost a vote to unionize.

The faculty group announced Wednesday that they were withdrawing a petition to form a union, but say they’ll likely attempt a new vote later this year.

The decision comes a week after the impounded ballots from the election — which was held in October 2013  — were finally counted. The vote was 54 votes against union representation and 30 votes in favor, but 38 votes were uncounted because they were challenged by either PLU or the contingent faculty.

The uncounted ballots were impounded immediately after the election when PLU appealed to the NLRB, arguing the school was exempt from national labor rules because it is a religious institution, and because full-time contingents (as adjuncts are called at PLU) were managerial employees.The NLRB, in its decision last month, rejected those arguments.

“The election was hopelessly flawed so we decided a new vote was the best course of action,” said Jane Harty, a contingent music teacher at the university, in an email. She said there were so many challenges to the ballots that it “would be very expensive and take months to contest” the challenges to the ballot.

PLU Provost Steven Starkovich said the university would try to address the contingents’ concerns through its faculty governance committee and a task force of contingents. “As we have stated before, we believe our robust, general-assembly style of faculty governance can serve as a model for other universities,” he said in a statement.

Adjunct faculty make up at least half the higher-education workforce nationwide, according to some studies. They are not eligible for tenure and teach anything from one class each quarter to a full-time slate of courses. They usually make less money than tenured professors and often have fewer benefits.



RE: White supremacy in children’s textbooks

Wow! ColorofChange members have already helped us purchase more than 500 books for Texas schools!

We’re delivering racism fighting books like A Young People’s History of the U.S. and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry to Texas schools next week during Banned Book Week to emphasize that the whitewashing of slavery, Jim Crow, and the KKK in our children’s textbooks is not ok! To get the books to the schools on time we need to close out the donation window in 24 hours. Help us make a final push to reach as many schools as possible!

Click here to buy a racism fighting book for a Texas school library!

If you’ve already donated, please share this message with your friends and family!

Thanks and Peace,



Texas is using textbooks to distort Black history and deny systemic racism


But we can fight back by putting books about Black history directly into the hands of children across Texas!


Schools should be a place for learning, not spreading racist ideology. But not in Texas. This fall, five million children across Texas were given textbooks that profess the same toxic and distorted view of history professed by Dylann Roof and defenders of the Confederate Flag.

These textbooks omit, sanitize, and downplay how horrible slavery was and glorify historical figures who defended slavery. All because the Texas State Board of Education has an agenda to promote a neo-Confederate ideology.

And if the Texas State Board of Education has their way, future textbooks could be even worse than they are right now.1 Future textbooks could remove altogether any references to Jim Crow, the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Codes- the foundation for modern day prison labor exploitation. The half-truths and omissions in these educational materials will teach a new generation of children a deliberately distorted view of American history and the story of race in our country.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we put factual and accurate educational materials about Black history in school libraries across Texas, we can give countless students access to the resources they need to learn the truth. Join the fight to get books about Black history directly into the hands of children across Texas.

Chip $16 in to get racism fighting books like A Young People’s History of the U.S. into school libraries!

The harm that these textbooks do is real. Not only are these whitewashed textbooks inaccurate and racially damaging, they even hurt the academic performance of both Black and white students. Studies have shown that both Black and white students who are exposed to negative racial stereotypes about Black people perform significantly worse on standardized tests.23

The intentional whitewashing of the story of the Civil War happens as early as grade school and not just in the books you read. Right now there are 29 schools in Texas named after generals like Robert E. Lee. There are textbooks and educational videos that glorify politicians like John C. Calhoun, who believed that owning, abusing and exploiting Black humans was key to achieving the American dream and was the architect behind the enforcement of the Indian Removal Act. Too often, the stories and truths of all the Black and Brown folks that built this country are either censored or completely left out of the books we consume from early on in life.

But by getting books like Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and March into Texas school libraries, we can provide the students of Texas the materials they need to learn about the generations of systemic oppression of Black people and counter the negative racial stereotypes that hinder the academic development of Black and white students.

These books are excellent stories detailing the struggle of Black Americans fighting to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice throughout our shared history. These books accurately reflect the highs and lows of the Black struggle for freedom and equality, and will give Black and white children throughout Texas the knowledge they need to overcome the half-truths and racist rhetoric in their textbooks.

By clicking any of the below links and donating, you will personally be helping a whole school of children fight back against racism.

Chip $16 in to get racism fighting books like A Young People’s History of the U.S. into school libraries!

Thanks and Peace,

–Brandi, Rashad, Arisha, Evan, Brittaney, and the rest of the ColorOfChange team.
Help support our work. is powered by YOU—your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way.


1. “Here’s How New Texas Public School Textbooks Write About Slavery,” Jezebel, 9-1-2015

2. “Think Unto Others: The Self-Destructive Impact of Negative Racial Stereotypes” Ohio State University, 7-24-2000

3. “Stereotype Threat and the Intellectual Test Performance of African Americans,” Journal of Personality and Social Pyschology, 1995


New NMAAHC Exhibition ~~~ Permanent Collection

NMAAHC -- National Museum of African American History and Culture

“Through the African American Lens: Selections from the Permanent Collection” Opens May 8th
Photograph by Eliot Elisofon

Where: National Museum of American History, Level 2
14th and Constitition Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001

When: Exhibition opens Friday, May 8th 2015

Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Metro: Take Orange, Blue, or Silver line and exit at Smithsonian Station or Federal Triangle Station

Admission is free!

African Americans have survived slavery, fought for their freedom in the Civil War, for the freedom of others in subsequent wars and created lives of meaning for themselves, their families and their country. Since its creation in 2003, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) has been collecting items—large and small—to tell the story of expanding America’s freedom from the African American perspective. The museum’s eighth exhibition, “Through the African American Lens: Selections from the Permanent Collection,” will showcase stories of trailblazers, innovators, visionaries and history makers who helped to shape this great nation. The exhibition will open May 8 in the NMAAHC Gallery at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

“Through the African American Lens” will use the museum’s collection to show how the African American story is quintessentially an American one. This exhibition was made possible in large part by more than two dozen families of well-known and lesser-known history makers who graciously donated their family treasures, establishing the building blocks of the museum’s collection.

Visitors will see approximately 140 collection items belonging to freedom fighters, unsung activists and servicemen, sports and entertainment legends and prominent artists and designers.

James Brown Suit

Among the artifacts on display will be the following:

  • Personal items belonging to Harriet Tubman
  • Prints from “The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture” by Jacob Lawrence (1986)
  • Uniform of a Pullman Porter worn by a member of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first African American labor union established in 1925
  • School desks from the Hope School, a Rosenwald school in South Carolina
  • Dining room table owned by Lucinda Todd that was used by Brown family and NAACP Legal Defense Fund during preparation for the Supreme Court Case, Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka
  • Dresses designed by renowned fashion designer, Ann Lowe
  • James Brown’s electric organ and red jumpsuit
  • Dresses worn by R&B musical group, En Vogue
  • Carl Lewis’ 1989 Santa Monica Track Club speed suit
  • Althea Gibson’s tennis racket

For more information, please read the press release.