Alameda Labor Council to Holy Names University President William Hyne: Do not oppose unionization efforts

The Alameda Labor Council writes a letter to Holy Names University President to request that the administration stay neutral during our unionization efforts. See it here.

March 7, 2016

President William Hynes
Holy Names University
3500 Mountain Blvd
Oakland, CA  94619

Dear President Hynes,

On behalf of 100 affiliated unions and 100,000 union members residing in Alameda County, I am writing to ask that you support the organizing efforts at Holy Names University.

Holy Names University (HNU) relies upon a large group of highly-qualified contingent faculty who comprises over 82% of the college’s total faculty and teaches approximately half of all courses. Adjunct Professors receive widely disparate job titles, contracts, employment requirements and expectations. Adjunct Professors have no clear program for advancement or long-term job security, despite the fact that some have been teaching at (HNU) for over a decade.

Adjunct Professors can regularly expect to be unemployed every summer as well as during the crucial four-week period over the winter holidays. Despite excellent qualifications and experience, Adjunct Professors have no job security, are paid a fraction of what tenured and tenure-track faculty earn (even when teaching the same courses), have reduced access to professional activities, and are disenfranchised from full participation in faculty governance (imagine, a majority of faculty unable to fully participate in faculty governance!). It is hard to plan one's life and career year to year without a clear expectation, much less guarantee of, and continued employment, decent pay, benefits, access to campus resources and professional growth.

Most importantly, Adjunct Professors remain an unprotected class of employees. Without union representation, Adjunct Professors are often at the mercy of their employers, with little redress for unfair treatment, contract negotiations, or governance issues. Along with their colleagues on other campuses across the country, they are organizing here at Holy Names University to unionize and work in solidarity with tenured and tenure-track faculty, staff and students in a collaborative effort to bring the college's day-to-day operations in line with its commitment to social justice and equality.

Across the U.S., contingent faculty is uniting to systematically raise standards of employment and to uphold the central importance of teaching and teachers in our institutions. Locally, SEIU is leading a Bay Area drive at several regional universities. From pay raises to basic job security provisions and more, Adjunct Professors see the concrete results that unionization has brought for adjuncts at Montgomery College, American University, George Washington University and elsewhere. Here at Holy Names University, we stand together with SEIU in the campaign to organize adjunct faculty in the Bay Area.

 We support the right of contingent faculty at Holy Names University to form their union. We ask that the administration remain neutral and not use student tuition funds or other college resources to oppose the unionization effort, and we pledge to speak out against any intimidation or retaliation that may be a result from contingent faculty invoking their right to organize.



Josie Camacho, Executive Secretary Treasurer

Alameda Labor Council