On Eve of Strike, Tufts University Part-Time Faculty win contract settlement with administration

Faculty & students were scheduled to walk out tomorrow in a massive strike action

Five-year agreement between part-time faculty union and Tufts University improves wages and teaching conditions for approximately 240 Lecturers

MEDFORD, MA – One day before a massive faculty walkout, part-time faculty at Tufts University reached a tentative agreement on their second contract with the administration. SEIU Local 509 represents 240 part-time lecturers at Tufts, ever since they voted to unionize in April 2014. After seven months of negotiations between the administration and the faculty union, the proposed five-year contract achieves fairer pay, better job security, more paid professional development opportunities, and other benefits.

The tentative agreement is hard won; today’s settlement was achieved after public pressure on the Tufts administration to reach a fair contract and the imminent threat of tomorrow’s massive walkout. At the end of September, the part-time faculty union announced their intention to walk out on October 11, with the support of other Tufts faculty, students, alums, and community allies. The same day they announced their plans, Tufts students rallied in support of the faculty to demand that the administration come to the table with a fair contract proposal.

Among the historic gains in the contract, highlights include:

  • Significant pay increases: Over half of the part-time faculty will see a raise of 22.5% over the life of the contract. Others will receive a minimum 12.5% pay increase during this contract.

  • Job Security and Professional Courtesy: There will be stronger provisions governing the review and appointment process. Faculty will receive earlier notification if their contract will not be renewed, giving them adequate time to find other employment.

  • Professional Development: Tufts will expand the eligibility criteria to improve access to fund for paid professional development opportunities for faculty.

“I feel very proud of Tufts for recognizing the dignity of our work and its importance to the teaching mission of the University. I am honored to be a part of this community that came together in support of part-time faculty,” said Tanya Larkin, Part-Time Lecturer in English at Tufts University.

“This contract would not be possible without the support of students and the community. The Tufts community submitted over 600 letters to President Monaco. Tufts students rallied and marched in support of a fair faculty contract. By coming together with us, they helped make gains toward fair compensation and just treatment for Tufts part-time faculty,” added Elizabeth Lemons, part-time faculty in Religion at Tufts University.

The tentative agreement at Tufts University is subject to a ratification vote by members of the union. To arrange interviews with faculty involved in contract bargaining, contact Christie Stephenson at (413) 374-6370 or cstephenson@seiu509.org.

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