Why adjunct professors are unionizing – Continue to next page to read the Star-Tribune Article.
Hamline University Adjuncts Vote to Join SEIU in Landmark Union Election
Overwhelming victory builds momentum for upcoming vote at the University of St. Thomas, marks first vote for private school in Minnesota as adjuncts join rapidly growing national union movement
St. Paul – In a victory for adjunct faculty across the nation, Hamline University adjuncts in St. Paul have voted overwhemlingly to join part-time faculty at Northeastern University, Georgetown University and thousands of instructors nationwide in a rapidly growing union movement.
The victory marks the first time that adjunct faculty at a private Twin Cities-area university have formed a union in their quest to improve higher education for students and faculty. Hamline adjuncts will join SEIU Local 284 as part of the Adjunct Action campaign after votes for the all-mail ballot election were counted at the Minneapolis office of the National Labor Relations Board this morning. 72% of the valid ballots counted voted yes to forming the union.
David Weiss is an adjunct faculty in the Religion department at Hamline and spoke about why the win reflects a victory for the entire Hamline community.
After the vote count was announced, he stated, “This is a great day for faculty, students, and the whole Hamline community. It was clear in this campaign that for adjuncts in Minnesota, our time is now. By coming together to address the low pay and lack of benefits and stability for adjunct faculty, we are taking steps to strengthen all of higher education for students and faculty alike. I’m confident that our success today will help empower other workers, including adjunct faculty like ourselves at schools like St. Thomas, to change working and learning conditions in higher education.”
Jennifer Beckham teaches in the English department and spoke about the great opportunity this provides Hamline.
“We sent a letter to Provost Jensen expressing our interest in building a productive relationship that reflects our shared value in making Hamline a great place for faculty and students. Adjuncts have been energized by the support of tenured faculty, students, alumni, and community supporters throughout this process, and we look forward to continuing this important work.”
Minnesota adjuncts are joining a fast-growing union movement, as adjuncts come together to take on this crisis in higher education that has turned what was once a good middle-class profession into a low-wage, no-benefits job without any job security from semester to semester. Now their vision is to take this work a step further – to unite adjunct faculty market wide, and across the country – because this crisis in higher education will not be solved one school at a time.
Adjunct Action is a project of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation’s largest and fastest growing union and home to over 20,000 unionized part-time and contingent college and university faculty who have won improvements in pay, job security, evaluation processes, and access to retirement benefits.