NEWS: SEIU Local 509 Launches Mobile Billboards to Pressure Tufts & BU Administrations

Escalating campaign to get fair contracts for faculty coincides with admitted students’ visits to area campuses

Mobile billboards are circling the campuses of Boston University and Tufts University today, urging the administrations at both institutions to negotiate fair contracts for part-time lecturers and non-tenure track faculty. SEIU Local 509, which represents faculty at both schools, is running the billboard campaign in an effort to ensure that university leadership knows that non-tenure track faculty have the support of students, tenured faculty, and even prospective students. Images of the billboards can be viewed below.

“Tufts University has long been a leader in higher education, and it is our sincere hope that the administration will demonstrate this in its negotiations with its part-time faculty,” said Andy Klatt, part-time lecturer in Romance Languages at Tufts. “Despite making gains in our last contract with the university, part-time lecturers still face job instability and low pay. The Tufts Administration should work with us to address the challenges facing part-time faculty if it is truly committed to providing students with the highest quality educational experience.”

“Since over two-thirds of Boston University’s faculty are non-tenure-track, our working conditions directly impact student learning,” said Molly Monet-Viera, Senior Lecturer of Spanish at BU. “We are encouraging students and the entire BU community to join us in asking the administration to focus on its core mission — educating students — by investing in its non-tenure track faculty.”

“We believe it is critically important that students — and prospective students — hold university administrators accountable for ensuring that their non-tenure track faculty have fair contracts and working conditions,” said Jeremy Thompson, Director of Higher Education for SEIU Local 509. “This billboard campaign, and our efforts to win fair contracts at BU and Tufts, are just the latest example of non-tenure track faculty coming together to address the crisis in higher education.”

SEIU Local 509 represents part- and full-time faculty at at Bentley, Boston University, Brandeis, Lesley, Northeastern, and Tufts. Recently, members of SEIU Local 509’s chapters at Boston-area universities went to the Massachusetts State House to ask lawmakers to support legislation, HB 2236, that would ensure fair wages and job stability for adjunct faculty.

Faculty Forward is a project of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 509, and home to nearly 4,000 unionized faculty who have won improvements in pay, job security, evaluation processes, and access to retirement benefits. SEIU Local 509 represents more than 20,000 human service workers and educators throughout the Commonwealth. Local 509 is part of the Service Employees International Union, the fastest-growing labor union in the United States. For more information, visit http://seiu509.org

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