By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer
CORRYVILLE - Adjunct faculty members at the University of Cincinnati will spotlight their effort to form a union Wednesday as they join labor and community leaders across the country in rallies supporting workers' rights on International Human Rights Day.
About 200 labor, religious and other community activists are expected to attend a noon rally on UC's campus at McMicken Commons. The effort will be a direct petition to the school's board of trustees to voluntarily recognize the roughly 1,200 adjunct faculty members as a union.
These professors want to improve their job security and earn a better wage.
"We want a little more awareness on the part of students about how it affects their education," said Greg Loving, an adjunct philosophy professor and full-time tutor at the Learning Center on UC's Clermont campus. "Because the adjuncts don't have stable offices, students literally can't reach them."
The larger effort, led by the national AFL-CIO, aims to educate the public about employer abuses and organize union members and their allies to change labor laws on the anniversary of the 1948 signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
"It took a long time for the labor movement to recognize that it lost this right and a long time to understand that this is a human right," said Stewart Acuff, organizing director of the Washington-based AFL-CIO.
UC officials don't support the effort.
"From the university's perspective, we believe there should be one faculty," said UC spokesman Greg Hand. "... We see this as an effort to create two separate faculties. And that is not, we believe, in the best interest of the students or the institutional mission of the university."
Rally at noon
The Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council will sponsor a noon rally Wednesday at University of Cincinnati's McMicken Commons to coincide with International Human Rights Day.
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