Adjunct faculty members teaching at Boston area colleges and universities are planning to meet to discuss the possibility of forming a union.

Adjunct faculty are hired on a temporary basis and typically do not have the benefits of tenured faculty or those on a track to become tenured.

They argue that they're playing an increasingly important role at universities despite facing low pay, few benefits and a lack of institutional support for research projects.

They are planning to hold a symposium to discuss forming a union Saturday at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston.

The symposium is being organized with the Service Employees International Union.

The union says it's already home to 15,000 unionized adjunct faculty members who have won improvements in pay, job security and access to retirement benefits.