Higher Education

To get involved on your campus, please visit the links below:

Bentley Button BU Button Brandeis Button
 Lesley Button  Northeastern Button Tufts Button

Or fill out a union authorization card and join the fight!

About Faculty Forward
At most colleges and universities, contingent faculty are a majority of all teaching population, yet we still face low levels of compensation, no benefits, lack of institutional support for research and scholarship, and exclusion from the governance of our institutions. At the same time, our institutions have shifted resources from instruction to administration, funded by quickly rising tuition, resulting in record levels of student debt. By coming together to form our union, we have the power to do something about this by building a market-wide movement to raise standards for faculty and students alike.

Faculty Forward is a projects 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. Together, the campaign has united non-tenure-stream faculty to address the crisis in higher education — and the troubling trend toward a marginalized teaching faculty that endangers our profession. SEIU Local 509 represents part- and full-time faculty at at Bentley, Boston University, Brandeis, Lesley, Northeastern and Tufts.

Read more about the The High Cost of Adjunct Living in Massachusetts.

Union Leadership Opportunities – November

Para leer más información en español, haga clic aquí. 

VACANCIES were published on November 21, 2017; nominations will be accepted until Friday, December 15 at noon.

Below you will find the list of opportunities to serve on the SEIU 509 Joint Executive Board (JEB) and Chapter Executive Boards (CEBs). If you are interested in running for a seat — or nominating a colleague — please follow these instructions:

Only members in good standing are eligible for nomination. Members may nominate themselves or be nominated by fellow SEIU 509 members. The member doing the nominating also needs to be a member in good standing.

Submit nominations for vacancies in writing to Jenny Bauer in the union office by fax (508-485-8529), email (jbauer@seiu509.org) or US mail (293 Boston Post Road West, Marlborough, MA 01752 ).

To view the Leadership Vacancies document in full screen, click here.

Again, nominations are due Friday, December 15.

Nominees who are unopposed shall be declared elected on that date. If offices are contested, election dates will be announced and candidates will be notified.

Para leer más información en español, haga clic aquí. 

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SEIU’s Henry: Trump Dept of Labor nominee Puzder dead wrong for America’s working families

Mary Kay Henry

Mary Kay Henry, SEIU President

WASHINGTON—SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement on President-elect Trump’s intended nomination of Andrew Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants, to be Secretary of Labor:

“With the intended nomination of Andrew Puzder for Secretary of Labor, President-elect Trump has once again shown how out-of-touch he is with what working Americans need. Working families, including those who elected him, issued a mandate for economic change because they are sick and tired of working longer and harder than ever but still struggling to build a better future for their families. Puzder has proven he doesn’t support working people: he opposes raises to the minimum wage, even though every time Americans have been called to vote for raises on the ballot, they always do.

“Throughout his career, Andrew Puzder has shown he does not believe in the dignity of all work and has used his position to line his own pockets at the expense of workers. In 2012, Puzder made $4.4 million, a full 291 times more than the average food worker. He doesn’t support measures that would help families who work hard build a better life, such as the overtime rule, which would put more money in the pockets of millions of workers for the extra work they do. He wants machines to replace workers because robots ‘never take a vacation’ – even though robots can not ever replace the work that people do. He has stood with Republican congressional leaders who want to repeal the Affordable Care Act – even though his underpaid workers and millions of working Americans depend on it for healthcare.

“Working Americans aren’t fooled by the anti-worker Trump-Puzder vision for America. They know it threatens their ability to have a voice and to provide for their families. That is why millions of American workers continue to come together through the Fight for $15 movement to make President-elect Trump and his administration deal with our economic reality. Together, workers in the Fight for $15 movement have made the kind of economic change America is crying out for by paving the way for 20 million people to get a raise. SEIU members will not back down, we will stay in the streets to fight back against anti-worker extremism and we will not stop until all work in valued and every community in America has the opportunity to thrive.”

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CONGRATS to our new leadership team!

The results are in! With all votes tallied, SEIU Local 509 members have elected our next leadership team. Peter MacKinnon will serve as president of our union, alongside Israel Pierre as our treasurer and Ivette Hernandez as our recording secretary. (See below for more details about our many election results.)

Local 509 takes pride in our long-held reputation as a thoroughly democratic union. All members are encouraged to participate by supporting candidates of your choice, submitting amendment proposals, nominating colleagues for leadership positions or running for office yourself.

Nominations for these leadership positions were accepted on October 15 as a record number of human service workers and educators gathered in Westborough for the Local 509 Annual Meeting. In that gathering, we learned more about how we’re building our strength across Massachusetts, met with some of the Commonwealth’s leading elected officials. Dozens of us also stepped up to take action in support of the Fair Share Amendment, Fight for $15, and a host of other important causes.

It has been an exciting year for our union, with a promising string of victories in our new organizing efforts, contract negotiations and on the broader public policy front. We look forward to seeing how these leaders will build on recent organizing and contract victories to set a future course for our union and the communities we serve.

Congratulations to our newly elected leadership team!

Candidates will officially be sworn into office at our December 13th JEB meeting held at our union headquarters.

Click here to for a summary of votes cast in contested races.

Click here for the 2016 Election Guide (PDF).

Click here to full screen the detailed spreadsheet below (Google Spreadsheet).

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509 on the move | 509 en movimiento

Moving Notice_580pBeginning Monday, September 19, the SEIU 509 headquarters has relocated to 293 Boston Post Road West in Marlborough, Mass. Click here for new contact information for Local staff and elected leaders.

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Boston Faculty Welcome Graduate Employees in Movement to Improve Higher Education

Following federal decision to restore graduate workers’ rights, local educators highlight victories on pay, benefits and their voice in campus decisions through FacultyForward/SEIU Local 509

Tufts Lecturers Welcome Grad Employees 82316

Tufts University FacultyForward members gather to send a message of congratulations to their graduate employee colleagues.

BOSTON, MA – Unionized faculty throughout Greater Boston hailed today’s historic Columbia decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – a landmark ruling that asserts the rights and protections of graduate employees nationwide under the National Labor Relations Act. Educators at local private colleges and universities celebrated the prospect of graduate assistant colleagues joining the robust movement to improve teaching and learning conditions in higher education.

“Today marks an important milestone in a greater union movement that is fighting back against the corporatized reality of modern higher education,” stated Max White, an English lecturer and FacultyForward/SEIU member from Northeastern University. “We know first-hand how precarious the graduate employee situation can be, and we welcome all who choose to join us in the fight to steer higher education to invest more in the classroom.”

At Boston University, Writing Program lecturer Marie McDonough expressed enthusiasm for the decision: “We are excited to start off the school year knowing that graduate students who teach and do research in our universities now have a right to a join us in the fight to improve the learning environment for our students.”
Non-tenure-track faculty at Boston-area universities form the backbone of a robust, nationwide campaign to address the crisis in higher education – winning a series of impressive victories that have improved compensation and teaching conditions through unionization. Nearly 4,000 educators have now joined in the shared effort to raise standards and improve the overall quality of higher education through SEIU Local 509’s Faculty Forward initiative. Contingent faculty broke new ground earlier this year with strong first contracts at Bentley, Boston University and Northeastern, following landmark agreements at Tufts and Lesley in 2015. Negotiations are underway among non-tenure-track faculty at Brandeis University. Full-time lecturers and instructors have also entered the fray in recent months, netting landslide union victories at Tufts, BU and Lesley.

“We are thrilled to welcome graduate students into our movement for equitable wages and benefits, as well as course stability and security,” said, Tufts University Senior Lecturer and SEIU 509 member Elizabeth Lemons. “Graduate students with teaching and research assistantships likewise deserve fair treatment and respect for the crucial work that they do with students and as researchers. We look forward to their help building a hospitable academic community—one that values the contributions of all university workers. A respectful community with equitable working conditions is the best environment for student learning.”

The educator-led movement to improve teaching and learning conditions has resonated nationally as well. Just days ago, faculty from around the country convened with other underpaid workers in Richmond, Virginia at the first-ever Fight for $15 convention. Together, the delegation raised calls for better pay and union rights for all workers.

“Any opportunity for fellow instructors to have a say in shaping their working conditions is great news,” said Melissa Wolter-Gustafson, a lecturer from Northeastern’s English Department. “These new voices will strengthen our collective call for universities to begin reinvesting in teaching and in the learning conditions of their students.”

Graduate workers interested in the fight to raise standards in higher education can visit the Faculty Forward website to learn more and get involved.

 

**For interviews with faculty standing in solidarity with graduate employee colleagues, contact Gabriela Camargo Martins at (774) 326-0535 or gcmartins@seiu509.org.**

SEIU Local 509 represents more than 20,000 human service workers and educators throughout the commonwealth, including nearly 4,000 part- and full-time faculty in the Greater Boston area. SEIU 509 members provide a variety of social services to elders, at-risk children and people with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities — as well as educational opportunities from early learning to higher education. 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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509News | Summer 2016

You should have already received your copy of the 509News in the mail, but you can also access and download here. Read more about some of our recent victories, the upcoming 509 Leadership elections and how to obtain new member benefits.

Click here to view the newsletter in full screen.

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Graduate Workers Are Uniting to Change Higher Education

Many colleges and universities rely on the labor of graduate student workers to educate undergraduates, support research projects and further the work of tenured and tenure-track faculty, all of which contribute to making an exceptional academic experience, improve student outcomes and increase college ratings. However, graduate student assistants’ work is often under-rewarded and under-appreciated. We teach and research without an adequate voice in pay and university fees when the cost of living keeps going up. We often lack flexibility in healthcare coverage and basic protections that would prevent workplace harassment and discrimination and prevent sudden changes to our contracts and work conditions.  Too many  of us are completing programs with crushing debt loads and less than rosy prospects for permanent, full time work in their chosen field of study.

Colleges are acting more and more like big corporations and leaving graduate students with impossible choices — choosing between their future degree and field, their students, and their families.  You can be a part of the growing movement to tackle the crisis in higher education.

Click here to join us!

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Contract Settlement Reached at Bentley University!

Averting Mass Faculty Protest, Administrators Reach Contract Settlement with Adjuncts at Bentley University

Bentley April 9 Action_580p

Faculty, students and alumni call for classroom investment on the Bentley Library steps April 9.

Tentative four-year agreement improves wages and teaching conditions for more than 200 faculty at the Waltham campus

WALTHAM, MA – Adjunct faculty at Bentley University reached a contract settlement late Friday evening with campus administrators – a four-year agreement that makes meaningful progress in compensation and course stability, professional development and the faculty role in decisions that affect their work. Facing an unprecedented faculty and alumni protest that was set to begin Monday, administrators came back to the table this week for negotiation sessions overseen by a federal mediator. The resulting settlement is subject to a ratification vote by affected Bentley faculty.

Among the gains in the four-year tentative agreement:

  • Meaningful increases in compensation: Adjunct faculty will receive across-the-board
    increases in per-course pay over the life of the contract.
  • Improved Course Stability: For the first time, Bentley has committed to promoting greater predictability and consistency in who teaches courses semester-to-semester.
  • Professional Development Fund: Bentley adjuncts will have access to funding to support research, scholarship, civic engagement and professional practice that contribute to the learning experience on campus.
  • A True Voice on Campus: Adjunct faculty have codified their academic freedoms and established a formal process to weigh in and address workplace conflicts and violations. 

“Negotiations like these are never easy, but both faculty and the administration remained committed to the process,” said Summar Sparks, a bargaining team leader and Adjunct Lecturer in Expository Writing. “After Friday’s marathon mediation session, I’m glad we were able to reach an agreement that we can bring back to our colleagues for a vote.”

The tentative agreement caps off a three-year effort by more than 200 professors at Bentley, who voted to join Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 509’s Faculty Forward division in February of 2015. In the ensuing months, elected officials, community leaders, students and alumni joined part- and full-time faculty in an unprecedented public campaign to improve teaching and learning conditions at the Waltham campus.

“Thank you to all the students, alumni, community members and faculty from other institutions who took the time to write letters and keep the campus community informed,” said Joan Atlas, an Adjunct Professor in English and Media Studies who represents her colleagues in the Bentley Faculty Senate. “We know their support and activism made a big difference at the bargaining table.”

Friday’s settlement marked the latest milestone in the growing faculty union movement in Massachusetts – with nearly 4,000 instructors now joined in a shared effort to raise standards and improve the overall quality of higher education through SEIU Local 509. Contingent faculty broke new ground this spring with strong first contracts at Boston University and Northeastern, following landmark agreements at Tufts and Lesley last year. Negotiations are underway among non-tenure-stream faculty at Brandeis University. Full-time lecturers and instructors have also entered the fray in recent months, netting landslide union victories at Tufts, BU and Lesley.

For interviews with professors leading the bargaining process, contact Gabriela Camargo Martins at (774) 326-0535 or gcmartins@seiu509.org. 

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SEIU Local 509 represents nearly 20,000 human service workers and educators throughout the commonwealth, including nearly 4,000 part- and full-time faculty in the Greater Boston area. SEIU 509 members provide a variety of social services to elders, at-risk children and people with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities — as well as educational opportunities from early learning to higher education. Local 509 is part of the Service Employees International Union, the fastest-growing labor union in the United States.

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In Near-Unanimous Vote, Adjunct Faculty Ratify First Union Contract at Boston University

Alongside faculty victories at Tufts, Lesley and Northeastern, major contract gains at Boston University set national precedent in compensation, job security and campus inclusion

BOSTON — In a near-unanimous vote, participating adjunct faculty at Boston University have ratified their 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. The vote caps off a 15-month effort by more than 800 contingent educators at BU, who voted to join Faculty Forward — a project of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 509 — in a landslide election in February 2015.

The contract ratification vote marks the latest milestone in the growing faculty union movement, with nearly 4,000 Boston-area educators now joined in a shared effort to improve their profession and the overall quality of higher education through unionization. In addition to achievements in the BU contract, adjunct and part-time faculty in “America’s College Town” have racked up an impressive series of victories in recent years, netting major gains around compensation and working conditions at Tufts, Lesley and Northeastern. Contract negotiations among full-time faculty on the BU, Tufts and Lesley campuses are ongoing.

Among the major gains in the three-year Boston University contract:

  • Across-the-Board Pay Increases: The majority of adjuncts will see a per-course rate increase by 40 to 68 percent over the life of the contract. All will see improvements in per-course pay of at least 6 percent, with the lowest-paid educators receiving the most significant boost in compensation.
  • Near Pay Parity with Peers: Following the principle of “equal pay for equal work,” most adjuncts will achieve pay parity with their salaried peers by the end of this contract. For example, adjuncts teaching a full six-class courseload will earn approximately the same amount as non-tenured salaried faculty.
  • Improved Course Stability: For the first time, adjunct faculty will be compensated for courses cancelled on short notice before a semester begins – receiving between 20 to 30 percent of expected pay. Boston University has also committed to promote greater course predictability with longer appointments and improved consistency in scheduling for those who teach courses over several years.
  • Professional Development Fund: Part-time faculty now have access to funding to support research, scholarship and civic engagement – as well as professional and artistic practice – that contribute to the learning experience on campus.
  • Inclusion in the BU Community: Adjunct faculty will have an elevated voice in decisions that impact their teaching and their students — including a formal process to monitor workplace conflicts and violations.

 

Anthropology Lecturer Laurie LaPorte, a leader on the adjunct bargaining committee, welcomed the agreement as a major victory for faculty and students at Boston University.

“Adjunct and part-time faculty teach over 1,800 courses at BU, and we are incredibly committed to the university and our students. This contract marks an important first step toward having that strong commitment reciprocated by the administration,” said LaPorte. “The agreement also reflects our contribution to the growing movement to challenge administrators in higher education to reinvest in the classroom.”

Greater Boston’s contingent faculty form the core of a robust, nationwide movement to address the crisis in higher education — where the role of educators is increasingly low-wage and marginalized, despite tuition increases and growing endowments. The groundbreaking effort seeks to reinvest in the classroom, raise standards and improve stability through the Faculty Forward initiative.

 

 

SEIU Local 509 represents nearly 20,000 human service workers and educators throughout the commonwealth, including 4,000 part- and full-time faculty in the Greater Boston area. SEIU 509 members provide a variety of social services to elders, at-risk children and people with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities, as well as educational opportunities from early learning to higher education. Local 509 is part of the Service Employees International Union, the fastest-growing labor union in the United States. For more information, visit seiu509.org.

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WGBH News | Boston University Adjunct Faculty Reach Contract Settlement

NPR’s Morning Edition takes on the landmark faculty contract settlement at Boston University — New England’s largest private institution of higher education. Kirk Carapezza of WGBH News’ Higher Education Desk reports on higher wages, improved job security and other key victories in the agreement, followed by an in-studio discussion with host Bob Seay and BU Faculty Union member Dan Hunter. Aired April 29, 2016.

Click here to read the full interview on WGBHnews.org.

 

 

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