There have been an amazing number of milestones for the faculty movement across the country this Spring Semester. So far in 2016, thousands of faculty members at 10 colleges and universities have voted to join SEIU. Ten schools or university systems have settled or ratified first union contracts this Spring. These new agreements raise wages and solidify job security in higher education.
Although the semester is coming to an end, faculty at half a dozen schools have active union campaigns that will continue to build over the summer.
Faculty at the following schools have voted to join SEIU so far this year: Saint Louis University, Wells College, Loyola University Chicago, Notre Dame de Namur University (Tenured and Contingent), Ithaca College (Full-time), University of Southern California, St. Charles Community College, Duke University, Boston University (Full-time), Holy Names University.
- Several university faculty campaigns have filed, including: St. Martin’s University, McDaniel College, and Hillsborough Community College. The faculty at the University of Minnesota also filed this semester and are hoping to vote in the fall.
On April 14, 2016 – the eve of Tax Day – faculty joined the Fight for $15 movement in the U.S. and around the globe to hold McDonald’s, other corporations and their own colleges accountable. (The 4Cs also participated in these actions locally!)
- Faculty across the country have set dramatically higher standards in first contracts, planting strong roots for industry-wide change in a short time. So far this semester, faculty at Boston University, Northeastern University, Washington University in St. Louis, Dominican University, St. Mary’s College, Mills College, the College of St. Rose, Hamline University, Antioch University Seattle, and the California Faculty Association have come to agreements or ratified contracts.
- Faculty have won significant contract victories, and the growing attention paid to their work has led to impactful coverage in USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the National Catholic Reporter.
Faculty across America are showing the country that when people stick together and take action, they win. These contracts include many important victories for faculty at individual campuses, across metro areas and are helping to turn around the trends that have marginalized the profession: low pay, job insecurity, and a lack of respect and a faculty voice in higher education. Here are a few significant contract wins this semester:
- In a new agreement, full-time and part-time members of the California Faculty Association will receive at least a 10.5 percent raise within the next three academic years.
- At Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., SEIU faculty secured a raise for all part-time faculty – ranging from a 15 to 30 percent increase.
- Adjuncts at the College of St. Rose secured 24 percent to 35 percent increases in pay over three years.
- Washington University in St. Louis, faculty will receive a 26 percent raise over the next four academic years. Individual faculty members will also receive $750 for classes that are canceled within seven days before the first scheduled class meeting.
- At Antioch University Seattle, full-time and part-time faculty protected their health care insurance, won monthly transportation benefits, and defined workload expectations within their contract to keep faculty from becoming overworked.
- As part of a new contract, Dominican University will establish a $40,000 professional development fund for part-time faculty. Dominican University adjunct compensation will be pegged to 80% of a tenure-track associate professor salary by the end of their 3-year contract.
This blog post was edited slightly with permission from facultyforward.org.