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jhuskey

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October 17, 2014

Howard University, Maryland Institute College of Art Adjuncts File for Union Elections

October 17, 2014 | By |

On March 7th, adjunct faculty at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore filed for a union election and to join the SEIU Local 500 Coalition of Academic Labor. It’s another step forward in the movement to form adjunct faculty unions across America.

The news follows up a huge victory for Lesley University adjuncts in Boston who voted 84 percent to join SEIU/Adjunct Action. In the past two weeks, contingent faculty at Seattle University have also filed for an election.

The MICA campaign marks the first adjunct union election in Baltimore, one of 9 cities where contingent faculty are coming together to form unions with Adjunct Action/SEIU.

 Across the country, the message being delivered is clear. Leaving part time faculty without sustainable incomes, benefits or job security runs against the mission of any institution: to serve its students. The status quo is unacceptable and unsustainable.

The next few weeks will be crucial. So we hope you will keep up to date with the latest, events and news here at adjunctaction.org and SEIU Local 500’s website.

mquinn

By

October 17, 2014

Inside Higher Ed Article on launch of Adjunct Network

October 17, 2014 | By |

“Hoping to reach an estimated 1 million adjunct professors nationwide, Service Employees International Union on Monday officially launched its new Adjunct Action Network website. The union marked the occasion with a ‘national town hall’ event for adjuncts at Georgetown University here.”

Click here to read the full Inside Higher Ed article by Colleen Flaherty about the launch of the Adjunct Action Network. 

mquinn

By

October 17, 2014

Webinar for Adjuncts with Student Debt on April 11

October 17, 2014 | By |

There are over 40 million Americans holding over $1.2 trillion in student debt. Adjunct faculty are learning that they are holding more than their fair share of that debt.DOE Seal

Adjunct Action has partnered with the Department of Education to offer you a webinar on student loan repayment plans, loan forgiveness, and the best strategies for paying back your loans. The webinar will be held on April 11th from 2 to 3 p.m. EST.

Learn about the options that are available to you and take the opportunity to ask questions directly to a student loan expert from the DOE.

The webinar will be held on the Google Hangout platform and we’ll circulate a link in advance of the webinar. You can also submit questions in advance of the webinar; for those who cannot attend, it will be recorded and posted on the Adjunct Action site.

To RSVP to the webinar, visit https://seiumaster.cp.bsd.net/page/signup/debt-webinar.

jhuskey

By

October 17, 2014

Boston City Council Unanimously Passes Resolution Supporting Good Jobs for Adjunct Instructors

October 17, 2014 | By |

Adjunct City Council Resolution

Adjunct faculty from Boston University and Northeastern University receive a Boston City Council resolution that calls for fair wages and a free and fair union elections.

On Friday, the Boston City Council unanimously passed a resolution in support of adjunct instructors, calling for colleges and universities in the Boston area to improve pay and benefits for adjunct instructors and to also allow them to unionize without interference.

“The current system for paying adjunct professors is hurting these individuals and their families

but also the classroom experience for our students,” Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley said. “With a mounting student loan debt crisis, families want to know what they’re getting for their money. With a compromised teaching force, I believe their dollars are not being maximized.”

The resolution is another way students, full-time professors, community leaders and elected officials are coming together to support Boston-area adjuncts as they help build a nationwide movement to improve standards for the profession by forming unions with SEIU/Adjunct Action.

Judge Isaac Borenstein (retired), Lecturer in Law, Northeastern University School of Law: “Northeastern adjunct faculty are excited about our upcoming election to join our colleagues at Tufts, Lesley and other universities across the country who are winning a voice in their work. I also appreciate that Boston City Council, along with many Northeastern students, alumni and full-time faculty, expect a ‘free and fair election’ where adjuncts alone make the decision, freely and independently, without interference from anyone.”

Higher education is a vital part of the Massachusetts economy and our state’s future. Over half a million students are pursuing a degree at Massachusetts post-secondary institutions. Colleges and universities account for a greater share of employment and payroll in Massachusetts than in almost any other state in the country and post-secondary instructors are among the fastest growing occupations in the state.

mquinn

By

October 17, 2014

Chronicle Story on Metro Organizing Strategy

October 17, 2014 | By |

There’s a new article in The Chronicle of Higher Education today about Adjunct Action/SEIU’s metro-organizing strategy, focusing on the efforts of adjunct faculty who are organizing across the Boston-metro area. 

“The thinking behind the approach holds that sufficient union saturation of a given local labor market will not only produce big gains at unionized colleges, but put nonunionized ones under pressure to treat adjuncts better, too. Those colleges might be prompted to improve pay or working conditions to be able to compete for talent or, in some cases, to discourage potential unionization drives on their own campuses,” writes reporter Peter Schmidt in the article. 

Adjunct faculty are organizing on a metro-wide level in Washington DC, Boston, LA, Seattle, Baltimore, New York’s Hudson Valley, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Connecticut under the banner of Adjunct Action in an effort to improve working conditions and raise the standard for adjuncts. 

To read the full article, click here: http://chronicle.com/article/Power-in-Numbers/145863/

mquinn

By

October 17, 2014

New Oped in Boston Globe by Northeastern Adjunct Professor

October 17, 2014 | By |

A op-ed published in today’s Boston Globe entitled “Parents: The adjunct system is wasting your kids’ tuition” shines a light on the current “adjunctified” system of higher ed, just as Northeastern adjuncts are voting on forming a union.

Here’s an excerpt:

“We all have a vested interest and a personal stake in this. As a parent, your voice is critical to the future of higher education. Urge your school administrators to listen to the important issues adjunct faculty are raising. Educate your family and friends about the importance of making adjunct faculty working conditions part of the college decision process. Ask about the issue at college fairs and on campus visits. Insist your tuition dollars be spent in the classroom and demand the administration respect our freedom to choose to form a union.

Read the full story here. 

mquinn

By

October 17, 2014

Elizabeth Warren Congratulates Northeastern Adjuncts on Victory

October 17, 2014 | By |

Senator Elizabeth Warren offered her congratulations to the adjunct faculty at Northeastern Univerity who voted today to form a union with SEIU. Below is her statement:

“Adjunct professors have exceptional qualifications and expertise that qualify them to teach the most demanding college courses, but too often they earn very little and must cobble together multiple part-time jobs to make a living that will keep them afloat.  Such arrangements are hard on the adjunct professors and hard on the students who depend on them.

Congratulations to the adjunct professors of Northeastern University who have decided to seek collective bargaining and organize a union.  I hope this will be the beginning of a new era that permits adjunct professors to improve their working conditions and expand their opportunities to be even more effective teachers.”  

 

mquinn

By

October 17, 2014

Northeastern Adjunct Faculty Vote to Form A Union with SEIU

October 17, 2014 | By |

Yes. Yes to a union. Yes to a collective voice for adjunct faculty. Yes to a better education for students. Yes to forming the biggest adjunct union in Boston.

That’s what happened today in a small room filled with a lot of excitement at the National Labor Relations Board in Boston, as adjunct faculty from Northeastern University (NU) and representatives from the National Labor Relations board gathered to count the votes for Northeastern adjuncts’ union election. And the adjuncts won, a huge victory in the ongoing adjunct organizing campaigns in Boston and across the country .  

After applause and hugs, Ted Murphy, an adjunct faculty member for 8 years at Northeastern, had one word to describe his feelings about the victory: “Ecstatic.”

“It’s been a long time coming,” Murphy added.northeastern photo

The adjuncts at Northeastern are now part of a group of more than 21,000 adjunct and contingent faculty who have organized under the banner of Adjunct Action/SEIU. Today’s vote count for Northeastern University, one of the largest private universities in the U.S., is the fourth time in a month adjuncts across the nation have voted to join SEIU and to improve conditions and draw attention to higher education’s increasing reliance on contingent faculty.

Yesterday, adjuncts at Mills College in Oakland, California voted to form a union with SEIU/Adjunct Action. In late April, adjuncts at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD, and Howard University in Washington, D.C. voted to form a union and join SEIU Local 500.

It was a focused democracy in action as ballots were counted at the NLRB after a strong campaign by the adjunct faculty at NU, who worked tirelessly over the past several months to fight for some basic, but important changes: job security, more equitable pay, professional development opportunities, and the chance to give their students the best education they can.

The ballots are checked, the numbered ballots read off the names list. Ballots 451, 477, 146. “Is the ballot in the blue envelope?” “We’re still 45 minutes from the ballots being counted.” Quiet chatter, focused counting. Democracy in action. A group gathered around the table as the green ballots were counted in batches of 50. Yes. Yes. More yes votes.

Cal Ramsdell, an adjunct faculty member in School of Business who has taught for 15 years, watched closely as the count progressed.applause photo

“I got involved because Northeastern University’s mission is student-centered education, and adjuncts are a major part of this mission,” said Ramsdell, who served on the organizing committee. “Adjuncts are a major part of the day in day out of the university; we’re working with students, and are devoted to our work, but at the same time make a lower salary and have higher course load than full-time faculty.”

And so it went. Months of passionate conversations, meetings, emails, and advocacy distilled into piles of simple paper ballots. And in the end, the yeas had it.

Ramsdell hugged her fellow adjunct faculty when victory was announced, tears in her eyes. “At first I was afraid, and then there was just one day when I decided this was a good fight,” she said. “Sometimes there are times in life when it’s just a good fight to fight. And I put my name out there, and that was the turning point.”

Bill Shimer, an adjunct in the School of Business said the campaign started as a series of individual stories and experiences that once strung together formed a powerful narrative and a force of change.

Talking to fellow adjuncts throughout the campaign Shimer said he began to realize “that my story is their story. My concerns were their concerns, and there was a sense of a solidarity building. We grew from a nucleus into an entire community.”

Troy Neves a sophomore at NU and the campus worker justice co-chair of the Progressive Student Alliance (PSA) came to the vote count to show his support for the adjunct faculty. The PSA and other students showed strong support for NU adjuncts throughout the campaign. “It’s been amazing to see this from the beginning of the year,” Neves said. “It has been truly inspiring, and I’m really excited to continue to working with our adjuncts.”

Many of the adjuncts emphasized how the union would benefit their students and the larger educational community at Northeastern. “The better adjunct faculty are treated, the better we can serve the students,” said Abby Machson-Carter, a contingent faculty who teaches writing at NU.

“I work at a couple of different schools, and this effort is going to raise standards for adjuncts all over the city. Instructors like me are going to work with dignity and feel like we’re part of the university and that our voice matters,” Machson-Carter added.

Part-time faculty at dozens of schools are working to unite with their colleagues in SEIU, and many are scheduled to vote soon or have filed for union elections, including adjuncts at the University of the District of Columbia (DC), the San Francisco Art Institute in the Bay Area, Laguna College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, Seattle University in Washington State, Marist College in New York State and Hamline University and Macalester College in Minnesota. The Northeastern adjunct faculty join their colleagues at Tufts University and Lesley University in forming a group of 2,000 adjuncts in Boston who are unionized with SEIU/Adjunct Action.

Ramsdell emphasized the sense of community the experience of forming a union has created, for the entire university. “A stable Northeastern adjunct faculty can only strengthen Northeastern, and benefit the entire community,” she said “It’s a win-win all around.”

Northeastern adjuncts can take a survey in advance of the bargaining process here

jhuskey

By

October 17, 2014

SEIU/Tufts University Joint Statement on Tentative Contract Agreement for Tufts Part-Time Lecturers

October 17, 2014 | By |

Tufts University and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract for part-time lecturers in Tufts’ School of Arts and Sciences.

Details about the agreement will be made public upon ratification by all Tufts part-time lecturers in the School of Arts and Sciences. Negotiations began in January of this year, and the bargaining teams have met regularly since that time. There are about 200 lecturers in the bargaining unit and efforts are underway to complete the process by late October.

The university and the SEIU are pleased to have reached this accord through a process that reflected a mutual commitment to students and respect for the interests and concerns of both the part-time lecturers and the university administration.

“We recognize the valuable contributions our part-time Arts & Sciences faculty make to the vibrant academic environment at Tufts. We believe this contract reflects our commitment to recognizing those contributions within the overall context of the university’s priorities,” said James M. Glaser, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences ad interim.

Tufts Part-time Lecturer Andy Klatt said, “Our tentative agreement with Tufts University reflects the institution’s long tradition of an inclusive and collaborative environment. Our negotiations were not always easy, but were always conducted in a respectful, honest, and collegial manner with the Tufts administration’s committee. We will recommend this proposal to all the part-time lecturers who will vote to approve it later this month. We believe it sets a high standard and balances the University’s stated need for flexibility and our goal of winning greater stability and security as members of the Tufts faculty.”

jhuskey

By

October 17, 2014

Boston Adjuncts Join other Low Wage Workers for Huge Rally to Demand a Raise for Everyone

October 17, 2014 | By |

Yesterday, over 1,000 low-wage workers, SEIU members and allies rallied and marched in the Bay State’s 3 biggest cities — Boston, Worcester and Springfield — to call for $15/hour, safe working conditions, and the right to organize. In Boston, the day of action featured speakers from fast-food workers to home-care workers to taxi drivers to certified nursing assistants to adjunct faculty.

Boston University adjunct faculty member Maureen Sullivan spoke at the rally about all working people’s common cause. She said:

“We as a nation, as a global society, cannot continue treating members of the workforce who feed and nurture and educate the next generation as pariahs. We need to put money in the hands of all working people who both create value and who purchase the goods and services that drive real economic growth.

That is why I am here: to express both my outrage at the shabby treatment of the Commonwealth’s hardest-working teachers and educators, and to be part of the solution. The solution, here and now, is to organize ourselves into an adjunct faculty labor union with strength, resilience, determination, and above all, the highest ethical and cultural values which we already instill in our students.

We also stand with brave people who work at restaurants, hospitals, home care and other fields, who work hard and can’t get by on low wages. Thank you for taking risks by speaking out today. We may be from different walks of life but we are all standing up and saying together, it’s time to make sure our economy works for everyone again.”

More coverage of the Low-Wage Worker Day of Action can be found in the Boston Globe, this Globe column and the this Boston Business Journal.

Read more about the coalition and action at: http://wageaction.org/

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