Adjunct faculty at Tufts University have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a forming a union with Adjunct Action/SEIU.
Ballots were counted today at the National Labor Relations Board, and the victory was announced this afternoon. The win sets the table for contract negotiations at Tufts.
“This victory is exciting and important for the entire Tufts University community. I’m happy that my part-time colleagues and I will have a greater say in making Tufts an even better place to work and to learn,” said Carol Wilkinson, a part-time lecturer who has taught at Tufts since 1986.
Instructors at Tufts, Bentley, Northeastern University, and other Boston area colleges and universities are part of a growing movement of adjunct and contingent faculty coming together for a voice in the future of higher education.
In an interview with WBUR Boston, Rebecca Gibson, a part-time faculty member at Tufts, described the vote in favor of a union as a victory for adjuncts across Boston and the country.
The victory comes after adjuncts in Georgetown University in formed a union with SEIU in May, joining DC faculty who formed unions at American University, George Washington University, and Montgomery College. In addition to adjunct organizing efforts in Boston, campaigns are underway in Los Angeles, Washington, DC and Seattle.
“Now that we’ve won our union at Tufts, we’ll be preparing for the collective bargaining process that is the only hope for achieving a measure of democracy, balance, and fairness in the academic workplace,” said Tufts part-time faculty member Andy Klatt. This is an important victory for part-time faculty at Tufts and an encouraging step in the movement to organize contingent faculty across the country.”
Voting is currently underway at Bentley University, where ballots will be counted on October 4th. Jack Dempsey, an adjunct professor at Bentley and a member of the organizing committee there, expressed his support for Tufts.
“We want to congratulate the part-time faculty at Tufts University on their campaign to unionize and stand up for the value that they contribute to their school and students,” he said. “When we win our vote to unionize on October 4th, we’ll be thinking of you and thinking ahead to a regional and national effort with our sisters and brothers at Tufts and other schools. The day of our second-rate status is ending, and a new one is on the horizon.”