Dear Faculty Colleagues, Students and Friends,
We ask for your support in our effort to organize adjunct faculty at Dominican University of California. Together we seek solidarity with our full time faculty colleagues, students and alumni to help create Dominican's first-ever Contingent Faculty Union. Our goal is to work collaboratively toward fairer and more just terms for adjunct employment, enhanced job security, opportunities for advancement and ultimately a better university environment for learning and teaching.
Dominican relies heavily on adjunct instructors who do most of the teaching and are paid a small fraction (in most cases, only a fifth to a third) of what full-time faculty are paid. Most adjuncts work without benefits —only about a tenth receive some— and many try to piece together a living by commuting to other schools or doing outside work. Despite excellent qualifications and experience, the employment status of Dominican adjuncts is highly insecure. All but a small fraction of contracts are offered by the class and by the semester. Summers bring unemployment and hardship for many, as does the 4-week winter break.
Compensation, considering the long hours many adjuncts work, lags far behind that of other Bay Area faculty and for many falls below living wage standards.
But perhaps most importantly, we are an unprotected class of employees. Without union representation, we are always at the mercy of our employers with little redress for unfair treatment, contract negotiations or governance issues.
Our effort here at Dominican follows successful adjunct organization efforts that have taken place across the country. In just the last 8 months in the Bay Area, adjuncts at Mills College, San Francisco Art Institute and California College of the Arts have successfully organized with SEIU Local 1021.
We envision that our efforts to join university faculty across the nation, at Montgomery, Georgetown, George Washington and elsewhere, will result in a better and stronger future for American higher education. We know that both our students and society as a whole will be better served by a system that at its core embraces concepts of fairness, equity and effective representation.
We, the undersigned, support the right of contingent faculty at Dominican University of California 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 of contingent faculty invoking their right to organize.