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October 29, 2014

Boston University Adjunct Faculty Announce Union Election Filing

October 29, 2014 | By |

Adjunct faculty at Boston University announced that they have filed for a union election to join SEIU Local 509 as part of the regional and national Adjunct Action campaign to raise standards in higher education.

Boston University adjuncts are continuing to build support while taking an important step towards a vote to join colleagues at Tufts, Northeastern and Lesley universities who have joined SEIU in the last year. The filing comes days after Tufts University part-time faculty overwhelmingly approved a landmark first union contract that covers roughly 200 part-time instructional faculty.

Laurie LaPorte teaches in the Anthropology department at BU. She said, “I’m thrilled that my colleagues and I are a step closer to a union by filing for an election, adding to the momentum that we’re all building in the Boston area. The recent Tufts contract is a great accomplishment. It shows that adjuncts have the power to reverse the trend of ever-increasing contingency in higher education. It’s important to think about the real benefits from the reversal of this trend, particularly in regard to providing quality education and instruction to our students, which is the very purpose of higher education.”

Sixty-six percent of Boston University faculty are not on the tenure track and 41 percent of BU faculty are part-time. The trend at BU follows a national crisis in higher education that has led to broad concern over issues like the marginalization of teaching, academic isolation and job stability.

Dan Hunter teaches playwriting, politics and public policy at BU. He said, “As Boston University has grown in the national education ranking, so has the number of adjuncts and part-time faculty teaching at BU. We are critical to the success that BU has attained, yet adjuncts have no voice in the future of the university, low pay, no job security and no benefits. Adjuncts have the same credentials and are held to the same standards as tenured and full-time faculty.  Through our union, we are asking Boston University to support all its teachers and invest in the classroom experience.”



October 29, 2014

Boston Globe Article on Tufts Contract

October 29, 2014 | By |

Check out a new article in the Boston Globe

Tufts part-time professors to get better pay, job security

“Most part-time professors at Tufts University will get a 22 percent pay raise over the next three years and improved job security under a new contract that could influence negotiations at other schools where adjunct faculty have recently organized or are considering doing so.

The Tufts deal, a three-year agreement ratified Friday, will also keep an existing arrangement that makes professors who teach at least three courses over the course of an academic year eligible for health, retirement, tuition reimbursement, and other employee benefits, according to union officials.”

Read the full article here.



October 27, 2014

Tufts University Part-time Lecturers Approve Landmark First Contract

October 27, 2014 | By |

***Learn more about the Tufts part-time lecturer contract at the 2014 Boston Symposium on November 15. RSVP here.***

Tufts University part-time faculty have overwhelmingly approved a landmark first union contract that covers roughly 200 part-time instructional faculty. The three-year agreement makes groundbreaking progress in job stability, includes a significant increase in per course pay and establishes new pathways for professional development.

In September 2013, Tufts part-time lecturers were the first Boston area faculty to form a union through the Adjunct Action campaign, a national project of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). A year later, more than 2,000 adjunct faculty in Boston are united in SEIU. Lesley and Northeastern University are currently in the early stages of contract negotiations, while Boston University part-time faculty are building towards a union vote.

Andy Klatt teaches Spanish at Tufts. He said, “We are pleased that part-time faculty and the administration have come together in a positive and collaborative process to produce an agreement that will improve the working lives of faculty, advance the goals that we share as a learning community, and benefit our students. We hope that our non-confrontational process and the agreement that we reached will serve as positive models for other universities in the Boston area and around the country as we work together to address the national crisis of contingent academic labor.”

The Tufts contract is an important milestone in the national conversation on contingent faculty. Half of the nation’s faculty are now part-time with little or no job security from semester to semester. The Tufts part-time lecturer contract includes pay increases, in some cases up to 40 percent per course over the life of the agreement and multiyear teaching appointments with pay protections for cancelled courses.

Tufts part time lecturer Elizabeth Lemons said, “We made real progress toward equitable working conditions and full inclusion in the Tufts community. Our work, our contributions, our value are now more acknowledged. This is an important beginning, not only for us at Tufts, but also for our colleagues at other universities in Boston and nationally who are committed to raising standards in higher education.”

At a Glance: 2014 Tufts Part-time Lecturer Contract

For the first time, most part-time faculty will have the security of knowing that they have a job next year – reversing the trend towards contingency that has marginalized the profession.
• Everyone will have at least 1 year contracts.
• By the end of the contract period, lecturers with more than 4 years of service will be eligible for 2 year appointments and those with more than 8 years will be eligible for 3 year contracts.
• Part-time lecturers will get first notice and fair consideration for full-time positions including a guaranteed interview. If the part-time faculty member isn’t offered the position, the instructor can find out why in a meeting with the dean or head of the department.

All Tufts part-time Lecturers will receive a meaningful pay increase – as much as a 40 percent raise over the life of the contract in Romance Languages.
• By September 2016, all Tufts part-time faculty will make at least $7,300 a course. Minimum for someone with more than 8 years of service is $8,760.
• The contract clearly states that work outside the classroom (e.g., advising, mentoring and independent studies) will be compensated.
• Those with a 3-year contract will receive full compensation for a cancelled course.

Tufts part-time lecturers contract reflects how critically important part-time faculty are to the full life of the university.
• A revamped evaluation process will be used to improve performance, not punish.
• The contract sets up a professional development fund for scholarship and artistic practice that contributes to teaching excellence.

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