SEIU represents 20,000 part-time and contingent faculty from Maine to California. Below are details of our regional campaigns.
Main National Campaign Website:
Adjunct Action is a campaign that unites adjunct professors at campuses across the country to address the crisis in higher education and the troubling trend toward a marginalized teaching faculty that endangers our profession.
At most colleges and universities, adjuncts are a majority of all teaching faculty 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 in Adjunct Action, we have the power to do something about this by building a market-wide movement to raise standards for faculty and students alike.
Adjunct Action is a project of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation’s largest and fastest growing union and home to over 18,000 unionized adjuncts who have won improvements in pay, job security, evaluation processes, and access to retirement benefits.
SEIU Local 500 Coalition of Academic Labor is pioneering a strategy to unite contingent faculty on campuses across the D.C. metro area to raise standards for their profession and win a strong voice in the future of higher education. SEIU Local 500 represents more than 2,400 part-time professors at George Washington University (GW) and American University in Washington, DC and Montgomery College in Maryland. On March 23, 2013, adjuncts at Georgetown University filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to form a union for adjuncts at the school.
Local 500 member are working to gain compensation that equitably reflects the value of teaching in the classroom, and have secured higher rates of pay at George Washington and Montgomery College. Faculty at American University are in the process of negotiating their first contract. Adjunct members of Local 500 are working together to improve job security on their campuses; faculty at Montgomery College who teach for 8 semesters can now apply for an annual appointment with a guaranteed course load. At George Washington, part-time faculty now can only be denied reappointment to courses they have taught before under limited, specified circumstances.
In a significant win in 2010, part-time adjunct faculty members in the Maine Community College System formed a union with the Maine State Employees Association Local 1989/SEIU. Adjunct faculty voted 264-96 to form a union at a time when student enrollment in the Maine Community College System reached record levels.
“The success of any university lies on the backs of the adjunct faculty. If you don’t have ownership of what you do, you can’t take ownership of its success. You need adjunct faculty to be a part of the team,” said Pauli Caruncho, adjunct professor at Washington County Community College, at the time of the vote.
Part-time adjunct faculty members teach 60 percent of the classes in the Maine Community College System, making them the largest workforce in the system. But turnover among adjuncts remains high because of low pay, inadequate benefits and no path to career advancement. Adjuncts with 1989 said they formed a union because they want to be involved in the discussion of how to best ensure a quality education for all students and continue to attract and retain quality educators.
At both Plymouth State University (part of the UNH system) and the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH), adjunct professors have formed their unions with SEIU Local 1984, the New Hampshire State Employees Association, which now represents 800 part-time professors across the state.
SEIU Local 1984 also represents the full-time professors at CCSNH and will soon have an election to represent the full-time faculty at Plymouth State.
“Whether it’s winning better pay, health insurance or improving our general working conditions, we can do all of these things by standing together in SEA”, said Craig Cushing, an adjunct professor at NHTI, Concord’s Community College.
The Congress of Connecticut Community Colleges (4C’s)/SEIU Local 1973 represents faculty and professional staff at Connecticut’s 12 community colleges. The 4C’s represents full-time and part-time faculty and professional employees at the state’s 12 community colleges. In addition to contract negotiations and grievance handling, the 4C’s has a long tradition of political action, professional development, and cultural and social activities. Since 1973, the 4Cs have negotiated union contracts that have made significant improvements in the wages and rights of employees in the Connecticut Community College System system.
In California, the 23,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches who teach in the California State University system are part of the California Faculty Association, an affiliate of SEIU. As members of CFA, California State University faculty have won contracts that promote academic freedom, uphold faculty rights, deliver financial protection for the faculty, and promote faculty participation in the governance of the CSU and of CFA.