Higher Education

The Union Stew 8/14

Dear Hamline Colleagues –

We’ve continued to bargain over economic issues for the past month. After meeting once more in July and twice in August since my last message, we’ve now met twenty times to bargain. This isn’t unusual for a first contract, but it’s new to all of us who are faculty members on the bargaining team, and it’s been quite the education. Some sessions feel long and unproductive, while others bring promise, but we continue to press forward bit by bit toward a contract we can bring to you—hopefully this fall. (more…)

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Sign Petition to Support Hamline Adjunct Bargaining

After nine months of bargaining toward our first contract, on June 17—almost a year to the day after our union vote—the administration presented their opening economic proposal.  It offers ZERO INCREASE in base compensation. A tiny $200/course bonus would go to adjuncts with terminal degrees in their field; everyone else would see nothing.

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The Union Stew 6/19

Dear Hamline Colleagues –

Another brief but urgent update follows. Please read this all the way to the end!

I need to say two things up front, and I need you to hear them both. First, right now I am angry to the point of outrage. Second, I am not done. I hope by the end of this message you can join me in both of these declarations. (more…)

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The Union Stew 5/7

Dear Hamline Colleagues –

As Spring Semester 2015 race toward its conclusion, I’m writing to extend a special invitation to a meet and greet reception with your adjunct colleagues.

On Wednesday, May 13, we’ll gather at Hamline Church, right across the street from campus (1514 Englewood Ave.). Drop by anytime you can during these three windows: 9:00-10:30 a.m., 11:30-1:00 p.m.; or 2:30-4:00 p.m. We’ll be in the Green Room. Enter the church building through the office doors off the alley, then look for signs. We’ll provide light refreshments.

THIS IS A BIG DEAL. Please try to come! (more…)

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The Union Stew 2/13

Dear Hamline Colleagues –

Spring Semester 2015 is upon us! Welcome back to those of you who are returning to the classroom this spring. A special welcome to those of you teaching your first Hamline class as an adjunct this spring in the post-union era. We’re glad you’re here. And finally, welcome “back” to those of you—like me—who are without any Hamline teaching this semester, but who—like me—continue to follow our union progress with keen interest. This promises to be an exciting semester! (more…)

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Hamline Union Update

Hi, folks –

Wish I could say I’m hitting stride after a lazy summer, but it’s more like I’m scrambling with fall’s frenzy after a summer filled with its own share of chaos. Such is life for many of us who juggle teaching into the mix of lives already brimful with other jobs, family, and a host of interests and commitments. Anyway, having been duly elected your steward at a union meeting in late August, I want to try (every two weeks … more or less) to serve up a bowl of “union stew” to keep you abreast of what happening—and how you can be involved. Here’s your first bowl: (more…)

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Hamline University Adjuncts Form a Union

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 , with 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.

“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,” he said.

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.

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Hamline University Adjuncts have voted to form a union!

Check out this article at Star Tribune about the Hamline Adjunct vote.

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Part-Time Faculty are Uniting For a Better Future

That’s why adjunct and contingent faculty from coast to coast, including Washington, D.C.,
Boston, Los Angeles and the Twin Cities are coming together in SEIU to build a Metro-wide
movement to raise professional standards for our students and ourselves.
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Editorial from the Hamline student newspaper supports adjunct organizing

Read why a Hamline student supports adjunct organizing.

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