Nearly two years ago adjunct and contingent faculty at Seattle University cast ballots in their union election, but their votes remain uncounted. The administration has continued to fight the right of their faculty to unionize dragging the process through a protracted legal battle.
Faculty members remain steadfast in their desire to form a union and held a Fast For Justice on April 14th. They were joined by students and community supporters. The morning kicked off with an energetic picket line followed by speeches by students and faculty who were taking part in the fast.
After the morning rally Mayor Ed Murray joined SEIU 925 President Karen Hart in speaking to faculty participants.
But, we weren’t done yet.
At noon hundreds gathered for a larger picket and rally, attendees included members of Teamsters 117, SEIU 775, and UFCW 21 held a larger picket and rally.
Councilmember Kshama Sawant delivered a rousing speech on behalf of faculty and the rights of working people to unionize. Addressing the crowd Sawant said, “We stand united with SU adjuncts, and all adjuncts throughout this state and this nation, in our demand for a right to form a union, for higher wages, better working conditions, but above all for dignity and respect as working people and as educators.”
Ben Stork a Seattle University film studies lecturer highlighted why the fight to unionize is important to students,
“My working conditions; Your learning conditions. These are bound together. This is what social justice looks like. It looks like us all being teachers and learners together, not customers. ”
The rally then made it’s why through campus where Seattle University students Myra Jackson and Vic Vong eloquently delivered a response to an anti-union letter written by the dean of their college shortly after faculty filed to form a union.
Seattle University faculty led the march off campus to join with other demonstrations for the national day of action for the Fight For $15.
Along the way Sawant led the crowd in chants of “Seattle Is A Union Town, Count The Ballots, Count Them Now!”