Adjunct professors reach tentative union agreement with Tufts University officials

From Boston Business Journal:

Tufts University and part-time faculty teaching in the university’s School of Arts and Sciences have reached a tentative agreement on a three-year union contract.

About 200 part-time professors at Tufts University voted last September to unionize and negotiations began last February between the Service Employees International Union and university officials.

SEIU has been organizing the professors as part of a union-run project called Adjunct Action.

The part-time faculty members at Tufts University who are part of the SEIU bargaining unit now need to ratify the agreement in order for it to take effect. Voting should be wrapped up by the end of October, said Andy Klatt, a part-time faculty member who teaches Spanish at Tufts University and has been there for 18 years.

Klatt is a member of the bargaining committee, representing the part-time staff, and he was a member of the committee that helped organize Tufts faculty and move them toward a union vote last fall.

“We recognize the valuable contributions our part-time Arts and Sciences faculty make to the vibrant academic environment at Tufts.We believe this contract reflects our commitment to recognizing those contributions within the overall context of the university’s priorities,” said James Glaser, interim dean of Tufts University's School of Arts and Sciences, in a prepared statement.

The tentative agreement at Tufts University marks the farthest step a group of adjunct faculty has taken at Boston-area higher education institutions as a result of this Adjunct Action organizing campaign. Adjunct professors have voted to unionize at Lesley University and Northeastern University — those adjuncts are in the early stages of negotiating contracts with university officials — and organizing efforts are under way at Boston University. Adjuncts at Bentley University voted against unionizing last fall in an election that union organizers lost by two votes.

Read the story online here.