10:16am

Tue October 23, 2012
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Campus Union Says Tenn. Higher Education Being Compromised

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A union with members on most of Tennessee’s college campuses says higher education is being compromised by ongoing state budget cuts.

The United Campus Worker’s Union is holding informational meetings it calls “teach-ins” statewide. A teach-in will take place on the Middle Tennessee State campus Wednesday evening.

Michael Principe teaches philosophy at MTSU and is also a union organizer. He says an increasing number of university positions, both staff and faculty, are being filled by part-time workers. He says the pay is low and there generally is no health coverage.

“It’s really a kind of corporate model of education you see really even internationaly, but especially in the United States and certainly statewide in Tennessee that continues to sort of develop. We want to make people understand what systematically is happening.”

Principe says the union is currently pushing university administrators and state legislators to enact a type of minimum wage for higher education employees, with workers at the lower end of the wage scale getting the largest share of any future salary increases.

Wednesday's meeting will be held in the Aerospace Building on the MTSU campus beginning at 5 p.m.