Cross post from the Lesley Adjunct Bargaining Team at LesleyFacultyForward.org.
On Tuesday, May 12th, voting adjunct faculty at Lesley overwhelmingly ratified our first union contract – a three-year agreement that makes significant progress in job and income stability, professional development, and the faculty role in university decisions.
Ninety-six percent of voting members voted to ratify the contract.
This vote caps off a year-long effort by more than 700 of us who voted to make ourselves a union – another vote which we won in a landslide in February of last year.
Here are just a few of major gains in our new three-year Lesley University contract:
‣ Fair Pay that Values Teaching: Most Adjunct Faculty will receive a 33% increase in per-course pay over the next three years – with an increase of up to 13% for those teaching studio courses.
‣ Job Security: Adjunct Faculty who teach three courses per year over a four-year period will now receive two-year appointments, along with enhanced benefits – including a contribution to their retirement plan and tuition remission for courses taught at Lesley.
‣ Inclusion in the Lesley Community: Adjunct faculty will now have an elevated voice in decisions that impact educators and their students – including formal representation in both the University Council and Faculty Assembly.
‣ Professional Development Fund: Lesley Adjunct Faculty will have access to funding to support research, scholarship, civic engagement, and professional and artistic practice that contribute to the learning experience on campus.
‣ Canceled Course Fee: For the first time, adjunct faculty’s teaching commitments will be respected even when classes are canceled at the last minute. For courses canceled within the first three weeks of the semester (or first two weeks of the term), adjunct faculty will be paid 15% of their per-course free.
Adjunct Norah Dooley, one of our members leading the effort through our union bargaining committee, hailed the agreement as a major victory for faculty and students at Lesley:
This contract is a start towards turning this university away from corporate values and back to human and academic values that honor the work of all. This contract shows a path towards recognizing the truth that teachers and teaching are at the center of learning at Lesley University.
Fellow contingent faculty in “America’s College Town” have racked up an impressive series of contract victories in recent months, netting major gains around compensation and working conditions at Tufts University and Emerson College. With more than 3,000 Boston-area educators organizing ourselves to improve our profession and the overall quality of higher education through unionization, our contract ratification vote is just the latest milestone in the growing faculty union movement.
There’s a lot of energy surrounding this robust nationwide movement to address the crisis in higher education – and Greater Boston’s non-tenure track faculty are leading the way!