On Feb. 20, contingent faculty at Seattle University joined the national movement to improve the future of higher education by officially filing a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to form a union with SEIU Local 925.
Seattle University, like many universities and colleges around the U.S., relies on contingent faculty to teach at their campuses. Contingents are part-time and full-time, non-tenured faculty who typically face inconsistent employment, little to no benefits, and low income – making it difficult to fulfill their mission of providing high-quality education to students.
Read their reflections below:
Yesterday, we filed our petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to form a union for contingent faculty at SU. Amid the national spotlight on our working conditions, many of our colleagues agree that we must take action to fight the trend toward marginalization and claim a voice for quality education.
The journey is just beginning. Shortly, the NLRB will decide on a date to hold a secret ballot election, most likely through the mail. Then we will have the opportunity to cast our vote for a contingent faculty union at Seattle University. Until then, we must continue to build support for our union.
Seattle University prides itself on its Jesuit values. Yet despite the repeated requests made by adjunct and contingent faculty, tenured faculty, our students, and SU alumni, our administration will not commit to neutrality. They also failed to respond to our offer to resolve this issue non-confrontationally with a third-party non-governmental arbiter. Now, our administration must respect the voting process and allow us a fair and free election.
We are excited about building a strong voice for contingent faculty at Seattle University and hope you will join us.
Seattle University Contingent Faculty Organizing Committee
To find out more about the growing national movement among adjuncts and contingent faculty, visit our website at www.actogetherwa.org