Sarah Slavick LUCAD — email@example.com
Beth Williams-Breault CLAS — firstname.lastname@example.org
Nella LaRosa-Waters CLAS — email@example.com
Eleanor Roffman GSASS — firstname.lastname@example.org
Norah Dooley GSOE — email@example.com
Celia Morris GSOE — firstname.lastname@example.org
We are pleased to present the inaugural edition of our Lesley Adjunct Faculty Union Newsletter — the first of what will be regular updates for union members. Among the many topics covered in this issue: introductions to our elected union representatives, details on new professional development funding and more.
As always, feel free to contact any of our elected Union Representatives or field rep Carley Russell with questions, comments or other ideas.
BOSTON, MA – For the first time in the Commonwealth’s history, thousands of faculty members at institutions of higher education will be able to care for themselves or a sick loved one without fear of repercussions from their employer. According to new regulations issued by Attorney General Maura Healey, [see Section 33.03(7)(a), final regs], educators will join workers throughout Massachusetts in gaining access to earned sick time beginning today.
“On multiple occasions, I’ve been forced to take my sick child to work with me when she was too ill to be at her own school. I didn’t feel I could cancel my class,” said Bayla Ostrach, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Boston University. “I am relieved to think that I can now stay home, with no repercussions, when my child or I are contagious.”
On Tuesday, May 12th, voting adjunct faculty at Lesley overwhelmingly ratified our first union contract – a three-year agreement that makes significant progress in job and income stability, professional development, and the faculty role in university decisions.
Ninety-six percent of voting members voted to ratify the contract.
This vote caps off a year-long effort by more than 700 of us who voted to make ourselves a union – another vote which we won in a landslide in February of last year.
Here are just a few of major gains in our new three-year Lesley University contract:
‣ Fair Pay that Values Teaching: Most Adjunct Faculty will receive a 33% increase in per-course pay over the next three years – with an increase of up to 13% for those teaching studio courses.
‣ Job Security: Adjunct Faculty who teach three courses per year over a four-year period will now receive two-year appointments, along with enhanced benefits – including a contribution to their retirement plan and tuition remission for courses taught at Lesley.
‣ Inclusion in the Lesley Community: Adjunct faculty will now have an elevated voice in decisions that impact educators and their students – including formal representation in both the University Council and Faculty Assembly.
‣ Professional Development Fund: Lesley Adjunct Faculty will have access to funding to support research, scholarship, civic engagement, and professional and artistic practice that contribute to the learning experience on campus.
‣ Canceled Course Fee: For the first time, adjunct faculty’s teaching commitments will be respected even when classes are canceled at the last minute. For courses canceled within the first three weeks of the semester (or first two weeks of the term), adjunct faculty will be paid 15% of their per-course free.
Adjunct Norah Dooley, one of our members leading the effort through our union bargaining committee, hailed the agreement as a major victory for faculty and students at Lesley:
This contract is a start towards turning this university away from corporate values and back to human and academic values that honor the work of all. This contract shows a path towards recognizing the truth that teachers and teaching are at the center of learning at Lesley University.
Fellow contingent faculty in “America’s College Town” have racked up an impressive series of contract victories in recent months, netting major gains around compensation and working conditions at Tufts University and Emerson College. With more than 3,000 Boston-area educators organizing ourselves to improve our profession and the overall quality of higher education through unionization, our contract ratification vote is just the latest milestone in the growing faculty union movement.
There’s a lot of energy surrounding this robust nationwide movement to address the crisis in higher education – and Greater Boston’s non-tenure track faculty are leading the way!
_ Lesley Adjunct Bargaining Committee
FOR ADDITIONAL CONTRACT DETAILS, GO TO:
Alongside faculty victories at Tufts and Emerson, major contract gains set national precedent in compensation, job security and campus inclusion
CAMBRIDGE – An overwhelming 96% of participating adjunct faculty at Lesley University voted to ratify their first union contract today – a three-year agreement that makes significant progress in job and income stability, professional development, and the faculty role in university decisions. The vote caps off a year-long effort by more than 700 contingent educators on the Cambridge-based campus, who voted to join Faculty Forward – a project of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 509 – in a landside election in February 2014.
The contract ratification vote marks the latest milestone in the growing faculty union movement, with more than 3,000 Boston-area educators now joined in a shared effort to improve their profession and the overall quality of higher education through unionization. Contingent faculty in “America’s College Town” have racked up an impressive series of contract victories in recent months, netting major gains around compensation and working conditions at Tufts University and Emerson College. Contract negotiations at Northeastern University are ongoing, with sessions set to begin at Boston University and Bentley in the coming months.
Among the major gains in the three-year Lesley University contract:
Adjunct Norah Dooley hailed the agreement as a major victory for faculty and students at Lesley.
“This contract is a start towards turning this university away from corporate values and back to human and academic values that honor the work of all,” said Dooley, a member of the union bargaining committee. “This contract shows a path towards recognizing the truth that teachers and students are at the center of learning at Lesley University.”
Greater Boston’s contingent faculty form the core of a robust, nationwide movement to address the crisis in higher education – where the role of educators is increasingly low-wage and marginalized, despite tuition increases and growing endowments. The groundbreaking effort seeks to reinvest in the classroom, raise standards and improve stability through the Faculty Forward and Adjunct Action initiatives.
SEIU Local 509 represents more than 18,000 human service workers and educators throughout the commonwealth, including 3,000 part- and full-time faculty in the Greater Boston area. SEIU 509 members provide a variety of social services to elders, at-risk children and people with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities — as well as educational opportunities from early learning to higher education. Local 509 is part of the Service Employees International Union, the fastest-growing labor union in the United States. For more information, visit http://seiu509.org.
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The Lesley Adjunct Faculty Bargaining Committee is pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement with the Lesley Administration for a three-year contract!
We have met with university representatives on many occasions over the past 10 months. These negotiations were not always easy, but were always conducted in a respectful, honest and collegial manner.
TENTATIVE AGREEMENT HIGHLIGHTS
Our tentative agreement makes important progress toward achieving many of our goals:
As you may know, our last scheduled negotiation session is set for this Friday, April 10. This meeting will either result in a tentative contract agreement that can be recommended for approval; or prompt an escalation of actions away from the bargaining table.
Throughout this process, we have operated from the firm belief that “Low Pay is Not Okay” at Lesley. Our campus community cannot be one where creativity lives and works below the poverty line. And if university administrators prove unwilling to address these issues in bargaining, we will do what is necessary to raise awareness amongst community stakeholders — beginning with an action and performance art exhibit at the Lunder Arts Center grand opening this Saturday and building to A Day Without Adjuncts next Tuesday. Scroll down for details on these and other events.
At our February 27 negotiation session, the Lesley administration attempted to defend and explain its proposal on compensation. But explaining the inexplicable and defending the indefensible is not possible.
The administration proposal is to increase adjunct per course (or per hour and/or student) compensation by only 1-2% per year more than the percentage increases applied to core faculty salaries – for each of the next three years. This incremental approach cannot and does not work. After all, a few percent times ‘next to nothing’ still equals ‘next to nothing’.
It doesn’t matter if an adjunct teaches one or seven courses per year, the value placed on teaching each course should generally be equal. But a simple example highlights the inadequacy of the administration’s proposal: by 2018, an adjunct faculty member with an advanced degree, who teaches courses per year, would still earn less than $19,000 per year.