The Union Stew 12/17


Dear Hamline Colleagues –

Shortly before 1 a.m. this morning, after a grueling 16-hour session of mediated bargaining, we reached a tentative agreement on a first contract with Hamline.

No doubt there will be news stories spinning this every which way over the days and weeks ahead. But hopefully you heard it first from me.

This is historic. Whatever imperfections the contract has (and it has a few), it unmistakably moves adjunct faculty forward at Hamline—and does so in a way that rests not on the goodwill of the university but on an ongoing shared partnership at the table. It is clear movement in the direction of justice. Moreover, with this agreement the standing of our adjunct peers at other Twin Cities areas colleges and universities is strengthened. And from our corner of Minnesota we have contributed to the rising power of adjunct faculty across the country, working to reclaim higher education as an arena in which teaching is truly valued so that learning is truly supported.

It has not been an easy journey to this day, and the last 16-hour leg of the leg was among the most grueling. BUT we have a tentative agreement, and one that we’ll be eager to share with you once all the pieces of the contract are assembled. This will be sometime in January after the holidays. Once we’ve been able to share the proposed contract, we’ll set a meeting for a ratification vote.

Highlights of the tentative agreement include:

  • All adjunct faculty will receive a raise. A majority will receive a 15% increase in Spring Term.
    • Additional compensation for terminal degree and length of service can increase total course compensation in Year 1 by 25%.
  • A professional development fund is established.
  • Adjunct Faculty will have much earlier notice of courses they will teach, and will be compensated for work if there is a last minute cancellation. Additionally, they will have the first right to teach a course they design or be compensated for the design.
  • Adjunct faculty, their spouse and child are eligible for a tuition discount.
  • Establishment of a Union/University Collaboration Committee (otherwise known as a Labor Management Committee)

A complete document will be forthcoming and mailed as soon as it is available (hopefully early January).

All five faculty members of our bargaining team were present for at least part of today’s marathon session. Della Zurick, Mark Felton, Carol Nieters, and I were present for the final agreement. I expect we’ll all be a bit weary on Thursday, but it will be a good Thursday for all of us—and for our students and our fulltime colleagues, and, I suspect, even for our administration partners.

Again, details will follow, but right now there’s a bed hollerin’ my name!

In solidarity!


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