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Adjunct Faculty at Augsburg College Vote to Join SEIU Local 284 in Push to Raise Standards

Second faculty union win in as many months marks growing movement as Augsburg College adjuncts join Hamline, MCAD, U of M in fight to improve higher education

MINNEAPOLIS – Over 200 adjunct faculty at Augsburg College formed a faculty union with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 284 in balloting that ended Monday. Instructors formed a union for a stronger voice to improve teaching conditions and advocate on behalf of students.

“I voted yes to form an adjunct faculty union at Augsburg because I love teaching here, but I pay more in child care than I make from teaching and it is unsustainable,” said Jessica Ennis, an Adjunct Instructor in Physics at Augsburg College. “We need to work together as adjunct faculty, tenure-line faculty, and administrators to improve our teaching conditions and student’s learning conditions.”

Ballots were mailed out to Augsburg adjunct faculty by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Tuesday, November 8 and were counted Tuesday afternoon. With a vote count of 76 to 63, 54% percent voted in favor of forming a union.

“I deeply value my relationship with Augsburg College and I am honored to serve my students and our community,” said Cory Knudtson, an Adjunct Instructor in Education. “I believe many adjuncts wanted to have a collective voice within the school to create an environment where we can best meet our students’ needs.”

Augsburg faculty join over 13,000 higher education instructors across the country who have formed unions with SEIU in the last three years to address the growing crisis in the higher education faculty profession, including adjunct faculty at Hamline University in Saint Paul and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) in Minneapolis.

Steve Boland, an Adjunct Faculty member at Hamline University, expressed the support of SEIU Local 284 members: “We are excited to hear that adjunct faculty at Augsburg have voted to join our union. We made major improvements at Hamline in our first union contract, so I am excited to think about what we can accomplish together with faculty at other colleges across the Twin Cities.”

Adjunct faculty at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) voted to join SEIU Local 284 last month, and Hamline University won their first union contract earlier this year. Tenure-track and contingent faculty at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus filed for a union election in January and await their election to be ordered by the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services in September.

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MN Academics United is an affiliate of SEIU Local 284. Faculty at Twin Cities colleges and universities are coming together to form unions for a stronger voice in shaping our institutions’ direction and priorities, our working conditions, and the future of higher education in Minnesota.

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Faculty at Minneapolis College of Art and Design Vote Overwhelmingly to Join SEIU Local 284 as Augsburg College Faculty File for Union Election

Twin Cities Faculty Union Movement Grows as Two Minneapolis Colleges Join Hamline, U of M in Fight to Improve Higher Ed

MINNEAPOLIS – Over 100 part-time and full-time faculty from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) voted overwhelmingly to form a faculty union with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 284 in balloting that ended yesterday, just days after adjunct faculty at Augsburg College filed for their own union election. Instructors at both institutions are forming unions for a stronger voice to improve teaching conditions and advocate on behalf of students.

“I am thrilled to see such a resounding vote for forming our union amongst both part-time and full-time faculty,” said Daniel Dean, an Adjunct in Media at MCAD. “Now, we can work together towards changes that will improve our working conditions as well as our students’ experience. As part-time adjunct faculty, we need to know that we will be able to be there for our students when they need us.”

“I want to form an adjunct faculty union at Augsburg because I love teaching here – so much so that I am teaching this semester at a financial loss, as I did over the summer,” said Jessica Ennis, an Adjunct Instructor in Physics at Augsburg College. “I have two small children, and I pay more in child care than I make from teaching. This is not sustainable in the long term for my family and me, for my students, or for the Augsburg administration.”

Ballots were mailed out to MCAD faculty two weeks ago by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and were counted this afternoon for separate bargaining units of part-time adjunct faculty and ranked full-time faculty. With a vote count of 43 to 20 amongst part-time faculty and 16 to 13 amongst full-time faculty, 64% percent voted in favor of forming a union. MCAD faculty hope to begin bargaining their first contract before the end of the year. No election timeline has yet been set for Augsburg, but faculty requested an election by mail ballot in November.

MCAD faculty join over 13,000 higher education instructors across the country who have formed unions with SEIU in the last three years to address the growing crisis in the higher education faculty profession, including adjunct faculty at Hamline University in Saint Paul.

Steve Boland, an Adjunct Faculty member at Hamline University, expressed the support of SEIU Local 284 members: “We are excited to hear that part-time and full-time faculty at MCAD have voted to join our union and that adjuncts at Augsburg will have the same opportunity. We made major improvements at Hamline in our first union contract, including a 20% increase in base pay for more than half of adjunct faculty after ten years without an increase, so I am excited to think about what we can accomplish together with faculty at other colleges across the Twin Cities.”

Hamline University won their first union contract with SEIU Local 284 earlier this year. Tenure-track and contingent faculty at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus filed for a union election in January and await their election to be ordered by the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services after it affirmed the requested combined bargaining unit in a decision released last month.

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MN Academics United is an affiliate of SEIU Local 284. Faculty at Twin Cities colleges and universities are coming together to form unions for a stronger voice in shaping our institutions’ direction and priorities, our working conditions, and the future of higher education in Minnesota.

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Faculty at Minneapolis College of Art and Design Vote Overwhelmingly to Join SEIU Local 284 as Augsburg College Faculty File for Union Election

Twin Cities Faculty Union Movement Grows as Two Minneapolis Colleges Join Hamline, U of M in Fight to Improve Higher Ed

MINNEAPOLIS – Over 100 part-time and full-time faculty from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) voted overwhelmingly to form a faculty union with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 284 in balloting that ended yesterday, just days after adjunct faculty at Augsburg College filed for their own union election. Instructors at both institutions are forming unions for a stronger voice to improve teaching conditions and advocate on behalf of students.

“I am thrilled to see such a resounding vote for forming our union amongst both part-time and full-time faculty,” said Daniel Dean, an Adjunct in Media at MCAD. “Now, we can work together towards changes that will improve our working conditions as well as our students’ experience. As part-time adjunct faculty, we need to know that we will be able to be there for our students when they need us.”

“I want to form an adjunct faculty union at Augsburg because I love teaching here – so much so that I am teaching this semester at a financial loss, as I did over the summer,” said Jessica Ennis, an Adjunct Instructor in Physics at Augsburg College. “I have two small children, and I pay more in child care than I make from teaching. This is not sustainable in the long term for my family and me, for my students, or for the Augsburg administration.”

Ballots were mailed out to MCAD faculty two weeks ago by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and were counted this afternoon for separate bargaining units of part-time adjunct faculty and ranked full-time faculty. With a vote count of 43 to 20 amongst part-time faculty and 16 to 13 amongst full-time faculty, 64% percent voted in favor of forming a union. MCAD faculty hope to begin bargaining their first contract before the end of the year. No election timeline has yet been set for Augsburg, but faculty requested an election by mail ballot in November.

MCAD faculty join over 13,000 higher education instructors across the country who have formed unions with SEIU in the last three years to address the growing crisis in the higher education faculty profession, including adjunct faculty at Hamline University in Saint Paul.

Steve Boland, an Adjunct Faculty member at Hamline University, expressed the support of SEIU Local 284 members: “We are excited to hear that part-time and full-time faculty at MCAD have voted to join our union and that adjuncts at Augsburg will have the same opportunity. We made major improvements at Hamline in our first union contract, including a 20% increase in base pay for more than half of adjunct faculty after ten years without an increase, so I am excited to think about what we can accomplish together with faculty at other colleges across the Twin Cities.”

Hamline University won their first union contract with SEIU Local 284 earlier this year. Tenure-track and contingent faculty at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus filed for a union election in January and await their election to be ordered by the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services after it affirmed the requested combined bargaining unit in a decision released last month.

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MN Academics United is an affiliate of SEIU Local 284. Faculty at Twin Cities colleges and universities are coming together to form unions for a stronger voice in shaping our institutions’ direction and priorities, our working conditions, and the future of higher education in Minnesota.

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U of M Contingent & Tenure-Track Faculty United by State Bureau Decision for Union Vote

No date set yet for union election; ruling paves way for 1,000 Contingent Faculty to join 1,500 Tenure-Track Faculty for union election at Twin Cities campus

MINNEAPOLIS – Today University of Minnesota – Twin Cities faculty praised a decision by the State Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) that affirms the unified bargaining unit requested by tenure-track and contingent faculty for their union election, setting the stage for a vote later this fall. Faculty are seeking to form a union for a stronger voice in University governance and a stronger voice in shaping the future of higher education in Minnesota.

“I am pleased with the state’s decision to allow contingent faculty like me the opportunity to gain a stronger voice at the University by forming a union with our tenure-track colleagues,” said Jason Stahl, a Lecturer in the Department of Organizational Leadership and Policy Development. “We are building this union together to strengthen the voice of faculty on our campus for ourselves and our students, and we are confident that we will win our vote.”

Tenure-track faculty and contingent faculty filed for an election in January to form one union on the Twin Cities campus. The U of M’s central administration objected, delaying the union vote for several months by attempting to keep tenure-track and contingent faculty divided. BMS held hearings in late April and early May to determine the proper bargaining unit for contract faculty positions like Lecturers and Teaching Specialists.

“Tenure-line and contingent faculty are forming a union together because we are all dedicated academics,” said Jerry Cohen, a Professor of Horticultural Science. “Contract faculty like Teaching Specialists and Lecturers teach many of the same classes, participate in faculty governance, and engage in service and research. While we have different roles at the University, we are all responsible for teaching our students and making the U a great place to learn.”

The decision concludes that “there is no evidence showing a community of interest with Unit 11 [Professional & Administrative] and strong evidence demonstrating significant community of interest with other undisputed Unit 8 [Twin Cities Instructional] classifications. For this reason, those incumbents in the Classifications in Question, located on the Twin Cities Campus of the University, Unit 8 is the appropriate unit assignment.”

“I want to thank the Bureau of Mediation Services for their diligent work on this matter, and I respect the decision they have reached regarding these instructional positions at the U of M,” said State Senator Patricia Torres Ray. “Faculty have every right to organize to demand better working conditions. I expect the University’s central administration to respect this decision by the Bureau and let faculty make their own decision on a union now. The University can’t afford to waste its limited resources fighting against their own faculty.”

“Students support the effort of contingent faculty to form a union with tenured faculty on campus because contingent instructors are who we see most often as undergrads and their lack of stability affects our education,” said Mica Standing Soldier, an undergraduate Senior in English and Creative Writing. “When instructors don’t know if they will be teaching the following semester, it affects the continuity of a degree program, and when they have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet for themselves and their families, we see that in the classroom.”

“Contingent faculty are forming unions across the country because we need greater job stability not only for ourselves, but also for our students and for the future of higher education,” said Mary Pogatshnik, a Senior Teaching Specialist in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. “We must do better than to ask our students to compromise their education when they are taught by instructors working on unstable contracts.”

“As the University’s administration has increased the number and ratio of non-tenure-line positions, the fates of all faculty are increasingly intertwined,” said Irene Duranczyk, an Associate Professor in the College of Education and Human Development. “We believe that the precarious working conditions under which contingent faculty labor are not only bad for them but also bad for students and bad for us, the remaining tenure-line faculty.”

Faculty at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus filed for a union election to join SEIU Local 284 on Wednesday, January 20th. The union would include approximately 2,500 tenure-line and contingent faculty at the U of M – Twin Cities campus, and would be one of the largest single-campus faculty unions in the country. BMS ruled in March that contingent instructors like Teaching Specialists and Lecturers have not been previously placed in a bargaining unit for purposes of a union election, and that the University’s administrative classifications do not govern in this context.

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MN Academics United is an affiliate of SEIU Local 284. Faculty at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus are coming together to form a union for a stronger voice in shaping our University’s direction and priorities, our working conditions, and the future of higher education in Minnesota.

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Hamline University Adjuncts Vote Overwhelmingly To Ratify First Union Contract

The contract, reached in December, will help promote stability through substantial wage increases and new professional development fund

St. Paul, MN – Adjunct faculty at Hamline University voted to ratify their historic first contract with the University on Friday evening after a full day of voting. The contract, reached in December, was called a win for faculty, students and whole university. After 10 years without a raise, adjuncts voted to form their Union with SEIU Local 284 in June of 2014, and negotiated their first contract for over a year. The contract was ratified with over 95% of ballots voting “yes,” and the new contract will go into effect for the spring semester.

Mark Felton, a Hamline adjunct in the business school and member of the bargaining team, praised the vote and expressed excitement about the first contract going into effect.

“Like my fellow faculty, I joined this fight for a first contract because I truly love teaching and want what is best for students, faculty and the larger Hamline community,” said Felton, who has taught at various higher education institutions in Minnesota for over 10 years. “We hope that our contract ratification, and the reality that our gains are locked in with a union contract so that they can’t be taken away later, will help to inspire others to stand up and fight to strengthen higher education across Minnesota. Increasing wages after all these years, establishing a professional development fund and crafting a system where adjuncts have advance notice of when they will teach courses will all help to create an environment where we have the capacity to do what we love to do, which is spend time with and teach our students. We know that we couldn’t have made these amazing gains without the support of students and the community who also want to make Hamline as great as possible. We are proud that we came together and made this contract a reality.”

David Weiss, Steward of the Union and Adjunct Instructor in Religion, shared how this contract will move Hamline forward.

“Having taught as an adjunct faculty member at Hamline since 2004, I am especially pleased to see this contract ratified. Hamline’s commitment to teaching excellence is now backed up by a commitment to more timely notice of teaching appointments as well as professional development support for adjunct faculty. Similarly, the University’s value of social justice is now echoed in placing renewed value on the work of its adjunct faculty,” said Weiss. “This isn’t just a ‘win’ for those of us who are adjuncts. It’s a win for the students in our classrooms and for our fulltime faculty colleagues. Bargaining a first contract is never easy, but thanks to long hours and hard work by both bargaining teams, this contract strengthens the fabric of Hamline University as whole. Although President Miller wasn’t directly involved in negotiations, this is a significant and positive accomplishment so early in her tenure at Hamline.”

Highlights of the tentative agreement include:

  • All adjunct faculty will receive a raise. A majority will receive a 15% increase in Year 1 and base pay will increase by 20% by the 17-18 fiscal year.
    • Additional compensation for terminal degree and length of service will increase base pay in Year 1 by 25% and by 30% in fiscal year 17-18 .
  • A professional development fund will be 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.
  • Establishment of a Union/University Collaboration Committee (otherwise known as a Labor Management Committee)

The contract ratification comes just weeks after tenure-line and contingent faculty at the University of Minnesota filed for a union election with the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services. With approximately 2,500 instructional faculty at the Twin Cities campus, this will be one of the largest single-campus faculty unions in the country.

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U of M Tenured and Contingent Faculty File for Election Today to Form One of Largest Single-Campus Faculty Unions in the Country

Instructional faculty seek stronger voice in university governance to improve teaching and research conditions, advocate on behalf of students

SAINT PAUL – Today, tenure-line and contingent faculty will deliver signed union cards to the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services to trigger an election to form a faculty union at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus. Tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure-track contingent faculty from every college of the University’s flagship campus have signed cards in support of forming a union so they can gain a stronger voice in University governance and a stronger voice at the State Capitol to support the institution.

Teri Caraway, an Associate Professor of Political Science, highlights why tenure-line faculty want to form a union: “We want to work with the administration as equal partners to help them resist the pressures that divert resources from our classrooms and labs. We are not forming a union in search of a bigger paycheck, but because our working conditions have deteriorated as resources for teaching and research have dwindled and the proportion of tenured positions has declined. We want to keep the University’s energy and resources focused on our core mission.”

Meredith Gill, a Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature, explains why contingent faculty are forming a union with tenure-line faculty: “Contingent faculty carry an increasing teaching load and perform many ‘faculty-like’ advisory and service duties for which we are rarely compensated or credited. We are forming one union, together with tenure-line faculty, because we all work together as instructional faculty and have a common interest in improving the conditions of teaching and learning at the University.”

Jimmy Patiño, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chicano & Latino Studies, talked about how a faculty union can improve the university for students and faculty of color: “The diversity of the university does not reflect the diversity of the Twin Cities in 2016, much less that of the region and country. We need to create a campus culture that can attract and retain faculty of color in every rank, provide support for the additional mentorship responsibilities we bear on an informal basis, and improve the learning environment for new immigrants and other students of color.”

Mindy Kurzer, a Professor of Food Science & Nutrition and Director of the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute spoke to the interests of research faculty on campus: “The challenges we face in conducting our research demonstrate why faculty at the University of Minnesota are coming together to form a union with SEIU. We need a real voice in shared governance at the University to address detrimental policies and an overall lack of transparency, as well as a stronger collective voice as academic researchers to advocate for adequate public investment.”

Once faculty file for an election, the State Bureau of Mediation Services will work with faculty and University administrators to negotiate the details of the election, including exactly who all will be eligible to vote, which may take a few months. With approximately 2,500 instructional faculty at the Twin Cities campus, this will be one of the largest single-campus faculty unions in the country.

Rick McCormick, a Professor of German in the Department of German, Scandinavian & Dutch, has been an active part of the organizing effort: “We are excited and proud to announce today that we are filing for such a groundbreaking union election with strong support from every level of faculty across every part of our university. We look forward to working out the details with the university administration soon so we can move forward with our election and form our union.”

Jason Vaysberg, a student in Communications Studies at the University of Minnesota, expressed the support of students for a faculty union: “Faculty working conditions are our learning conditions, and we see the effects of detrimental decisions in our classrooms every day. Class sizes continue to grow while course offerings decrease, and tuition dollars are increasingly funding layers of administration and bureaucracy instead of departments, classrooms, and research. We are encouraged by faculty members standing up for teaching, learning, and research, and we support their efforts to form a faculty union.”

U of M faculty began organizing to form a union last year. Adjunct faculty at Hamline University voted overwhelmingly to join SEIU Local 284 in June of 2014, and reached a tentative agreement for their first union contract last month.

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MN Academics United is an affiliate of SEIU Local 284. Faculty at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus are coming together to form a union for a stronger voice in shaping our University’s direction and priorities, our working conditions, and the future of higher education in Minnesota.

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U of M Tenured and Contingent Faculty File for Election Today to Form One of Largest Single-Campus Faculty Unions in the Country

U of M Tenured and Contingent Faculty File for Election Today to Form One of Largest Single-Campus Faculty Unions in the Country

Instructional faculty seek stronger voice in university governance to improve teaching and research conditions, advocate on behalf of students

SAINT PAUL – Today, tenure-line and contingent faculty will deliver signed union cards to the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services to trigger an election to form a faculty union at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus. Tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure-track contingent faculty from every college of the University’s flagship campus have signed cards in support of forming a union so they can gain a stronger voice in University governance and a stronger voice at the State Capitol to support the institution.

Teri Caraway, an Associate Professor of Political Science, highlights why tenure-line faculty want to form a union: “We want to work with the administration as equal partners to help them resist the pressures that divert resources from our classrooms and labs. We are not forming a union in search of a bigger paycheck, but because our working conditions have deteriorated as resources for teaching and research have dwindled and the proportion of tenured positions has declined. We want to keep the University’s energy and resources focused on our core mission.”

Meredith Gill, a Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature, explains why contingent faculty are forming a union with tenure-line faculty: “Contingent faculty carry an increasing teaching load and perform many ‘faculty-like’ advisory and service duties for which we are rarely compensated or credited. We are forming one union, together with tenure-line faculty, because we all work together as instructional faculty and have a common interest in improving the conditions of teaching and learning at the University.”

Jimmy Patiño, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chicano & Latino Studies, talked about how a faculty union can improve the university for students and faculty of color: “The diversity of the university does not reflect the diversity of the Twin Cities in 2016, much less that of the region and country. We need to create a campus culture that can attract and retain faculty of color in every rank, provide support for the additional mentorship responsibilities we bear on an informal basis, and improve the learning environment for new immigrants and other students of color.”

Mindy Kurzer, a Professor of Food Science & Nutrition and Director of the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute spoke to the interests of research faculty on campus: “The challenges we face in conducting our research demonstrate why faculty at the University of Minnesota are coming together to form a union with SEIU. We need a real voice in shared governance at the University to address detrimental policies and an overall lack of transparency, as well as a stronger collective voice as academic researchers to advocate for adequate public investment.”

Once faculty file for an election, the State Bureau of Mediation Services will work with faculty and University administrators to negotiate the details of the election, including exactly who all will be eligible to vote, which may take a few months. With approximately 2,500 instructional faculty at the Twin Cities campus, this will be one of the largest single-campus faculty unions in the country.

Rick McCormick, a Professor of German in the Department of German, Scandinavian & Dutch, has been an active part of the organizing effort: “We are excited and proud to announce today that we are filing for such a groundbreaking union election with strong support from every level of faculty across every part of our university. We look forward to working out the details with the university administration soon so we can move forward with our election and form our union.”

Jason Vaysberg, a student in Communications Studies at the University of Minnesota, expressed the support of students for a faculty union: “Faculty working conditions are our learning conditions, and we see the effects of detrimental decisions in our classrooms every day. Class sizes continue to grow while course offerings decrease, and tuition dollars are increasingly funding layers of administration and bureaucracy instead of departments, classrooms, and research. We are encouraged by faculty members standing up for teaching, learning, and research, and we support their efforts to form a faculty union.”

U of M faculty began organizing to form a union last year. Adjunct faculty at Hamline University voted overwhelmingly to join SEIU Local 284 in June of 2014, and reached a tentative agreement for their first union contract last month.

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MN Academics United is an affiliate of SEIU Local 284. Faculty at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus are coming together to form a union for a stronger voice in shaping our University’s direction and priorities, our working conditions, and the future of higher education in Minnesota.

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Hamline University Adjuncts Reach Tentative Agreement on Historic First Union Contract

The agreement, called a victory for both faculty and students, will help promote stability through substantial wage increases and new professional development fund

St. Paul, Minn – Late Wednesday night, adjunct faculty at Hamline University reached a tentative agreement for their historic first contract with the University. After 10 years without a raise, adjuncts voted overwhelmingly to form their Union with SEIU Local 284 in June of 2014, and have been negotiating their first contract with the University for over a year. The adjunct faculty on the bargaining team praised the contract as a strong step forward to improving Hamline for adjuncts, students and the whole Hamline community.

Mark Felton, a Hamline adjunct in the business school and member of the bargaining team, highlighted how the contract is a “win-win” for everyone at Hamline.

“Teaching is my passion, which is why I joined the fight to win this first contract that makes Hamline stronger for both adjunct faculty and our students,” said Felton, who has taught at various Higher Education institutions in Minnesota for over 10 years. “Increasing wages after all these years, establishing a professional development fund and crafting a system where adjuncts have advance notice of when we will teach courses will all help to create an environment where we have the capacity to do what we love to do, which is spend time with and teach our students. We always believed we could reach an agreement that moves everyone forward, and we are proud that we came together and made this contract a reality.”

Della Zurick, a Hamline adjunct who teaches political theory and is a member of the bargaining team, shared that her love of her students got her involved in the campaign and why their support helped to make the contract a reality.

“I teach my students about standing up for their convictions, and feel strongly that this contract does just that for Hamline adjuncts who have fought so hard for what is best for both faculty and students,” said Zurick. “I feel called to teach, and find great joy in engaging with my Hamline students. It has been amazing to see and hear the support they have given us throughout my time on the campaign.  I believe this contract will help to strengthen that experience for all involved at Hamline. When adjuncts aren’t having to run from one job to the next, scrambling to fit together various pieces, it gives us more time to actually teach our students.”

Hamline students have been strong supporters of the adjuncts during the campaign for a first contract. Kyle McGuinn, a first year MFA student at Hamline, shared why he worked to support adjuncts and why he was excited for this first contract.

“This agreement is a great step forward for both Hamline students and faculty. Students supported the adjuncts bargaining for a fair first contract because we know that if our teachers are paid fairly and given the support they need, they will have more time to invest in our education,” said McGuinn. “I’m proud that adjuncts stood up for a better future for higher education, and proud that the student body showed our support for the teachers that make our education possible. This is a big win for all of Hamline.”

Highlights of the tentative agreement include:

  • Raises for all adjunct faculty. A majority will receive a 15% increase in year 1 and base pay will increase by 20% by the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
  • Additional compensation for adjuncts with their terminal degree and length of service will increase base pay in year 1 by 25% and by 30% in fiscal year 2017-2018.
  • A professional development fund will be established.
  • Adjunct faculty will receive 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 of refusal to teach a course they design or be compensated for the curriculum.
  • Establishment of a Union/University Collaboration Committee (otherwise known as a Labor Management Committee)

Adjunct faculty in the bargaining unit will vote in early 2016 on ratification of the agreement, which would then go into effect for the Spring semester.

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Mike Poke Letter to the Editor-Sun Sailor

To the Editor:

Although my job title is “custodian” in Wayzata Public Schools, I am also a counselor, a friend and an advocate. Students call me “Mentor Mike,” and many students who are having problems at school talk to me. Because of that, I see firsthand the much discussed achievement gap between students of color and white students every day. To me, it’s not a statistic. It’s real kids who are failing while watching their peers succeed.

I work hard to try to reduce that gap and support these kids, but there are barriers to success. One barrier is the many stress factors from their environment and home life, while another is institutionalized racism in our school system.

There are a few proposals that have been put forward this legislative session that actually address the problems I see.

The “full service community schools” would address the nonacademic barriers by bringing parents and community members to the table to support our kids. It’s a proven model in helping schools beat the odds for students of color and students in poverty.

Another proposal would help people of color become teachers by offsetting some of the costs. This has been a problem in Minnesota, and kids would benefit from seeing people who look like them in front of the classroom.

In Minnesota, we don’t like to talk much about race. But the more the legislature brings in teachers, staff, parents, and community members to address it together, the more they will change.

There are a lot of proposals flying around the Capitol, but if the legislature is serious about reducing the achievement gap, I hope they listen to Mentor Mike and take these seriously.

Mike Poke

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Dear Legislature: Choose Educations Over Corporations-Article in St. Cloud Times

st cloud times Read the full Article here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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