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Monday, July 24, 2017




University and part-time faculty agree to three-year contract




Part-time faculty ratified a labor contract with the University’s administration on May 10, the first of its kind at the University.

Like the University’s graduate students who voted for labor unionization on May 2, the faculty rallied under the support of “Faculty Forward,” a project by the Service Employees International Union Local 509 coalition, a Massachusetts union for human service workers and educators. BrandeisNOW reported that the contract will support more than 280 part-time faculty at the University.

The three-year contract features annual pay increases, with the lowest-paid adjunct faculty seeing up to a 25 percent increase by the end of that period, according to a May 10 SEIU press release. Additionally, the contract provides increased job security, allowing part-time faculty to be eligible for multi-year appointments and benefits that are unaffected by unforeseen class cancellations.

For adjunct faculty, the contract increases the longevity of base per-course rates. The University will also establish a $25,000 professional development fund, through which experienced faculty that teach two or more courses may apply for grants of up to $2,500, according to the release.

The part-time faculty at the University joined SEIU in December of 2015. The contract is a step toward “ensuring increased participation of part-time faculty in discussions that affect their work,” SEIU stated in the release.

The contract included a joint statement from both the faculty and administration: “The Union and the University value and respect the role of the Faculty Members covered by this Agreement as essential contributors to a learning community. Our relationship is characterized by a spirit of professionalism, collegiality, civility and cooperation toward a common objective of providing an exceptional educational experience for the University’s students. … We believe in communication, mutual respect and meaningful involvement of part-time Faculty Members in working towards this common objective.”

The Boston-area Faculty Forward coalition includes 4,000 part- and full-time faculty at Bentley University, Boston University, Lesley University, Northeastern University and Tufts University, according to SEIU’s website. SEIU states that Faculty Forward serves to address a “troubling trend toward a marginalized teaching faculty that endangers our profession.” The group’s ambition is to development improvements in pay, job security, evaluation processes and access to retirement benefits for non-tenure-stream faculty.


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