March 23, 2016
William Hynes, President
Holy Names University
3500 Mountain Blvd
Oakland, CA 94619
Dear President Hynes,
The East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy advances economic, racial, and social justice by building a moral economy based on good jobs and healthy communities. We address the root causes of economic inequity by developing strategic alliances among community members, workers, and people of faith to improve the lives of low-income workers and communities of color.
We see Holy Names University as an anchor institution in the East Bay, with a critical commitment to social justice and equality. We believe that commitment extends not just to the experience of the students at HNU, but also to the workers at all levels.
We understand that Holy Names University (HNU) relies upon a large group of highly qualified contingent faculty who comprise over 82% of the college's total faculty and teach approximately half of all courses. These faculty members receive widely disparate job titles, contracts, employment requirements and expectations. These faculty members 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.
Despite excellent qualifications and experience, the contingent faculty 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. It is hard to plan one's life and career year to year without a clear expectation or commitment of continued employment, decent pay, benefits, access to campus resources and professional growth.
Most importantly, these faculty members remain an unprotected class of employees. Without union representation, they have little redress for unfair treatment, contract negotiations, or governance issues.
We stand in solidarity with the faculty at Holy Names University who are organizing to form a union and we see this as part of the path to bring together all faculty, staff and students in a collaborative effort to align the college's day-to-day operations with its commitment to social justice and equality.
As community of workers, residents and people of faith, we at EBASE support the right of contingent faculty at Holy Names University to form a union. We ask that the administration remain neutral and not use student tuition or other college resources to oppose the unionization effort, and we pledge to speak out against any intimidation or retaliation towards contingent faculty invoking their right to organize.
Kate O’Hara Executive Director
See the letter here: EBASE Letter of Support of Adjuncts at HNU