Crisis at the Boiling Point

A new SEIU/Adjunct Action report released today called A Crisis at the Boiling Point tells an important story of what’s happening in academic labor by documenting and analyzing just how much work part-time faculty are doing, when they are doing it for free and how federal employment laws often fail to protect the contingent workforce. The report also offers recommendations and actions that faculty, students and concerned members of the community can take to begin to reclaim our higher education system.

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SEIU Adjunct Contract Highlights

SEIU represents over 21,000 adjunct and contingent faculty nationwide, including adjunct faculty in the California State University system. Contract language is negotiated by a bargaining team made up of members and an experienced negotiator, with legal counsel. Contract priorities are determined before negotiations begin through bargaining surveys and group discussions. Here are just a few highlights of what these unionized educators have been able to achieve through collective bargaining: 

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This Infographic Says It All

This infographic handily sums up some of the key findings of our recent study examining adjunct living and working conditions in the Bay Area.

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Study Examines Living, Working Conditions for Bay Area Adjuncts

"How many classes would the average adjunct have to teach to...?"

That was the fundamental question researchers asked when putting together this groundbreaking new report about the living and working conditions of San Francisco Bay Area adjunct faculty at 9 different area nonprofit four-year institutions of higher education.

Some of the findings?

  • A typical adjunct professor would have to teach 23 to 32 classes a year to afford rent and utilities in the San Francisco Bay Area--or 38 to 52 classes to afford rent and utilities in the city of San Francisco.

“A lot of my friends are living in rent-controlled apartments, and it feels like there’s this sort of sword hoisted above your head at all times, because when you lose that, most of us are not going to be able to afford housing at what is now the market rate. The market rate has just gone bananas,” explained one adjunct faculty member interviewed.

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Study Finds Unionized Faculty Benefits Students, Institutions

A recent study finds that unionized colleges and universities are more efficient and effective than non-union ones. The study, performed by Mark Cassell, associate professor of political science at Kent State University, analyzes 23 years’ worth of data and finds that unionization at colleges results in higher graduation and completion rates and lower growth in costs and expenses. Cassell hypothesizes that this occurs because unionization leads universities to emphasize instruction over administration, which controls the cost increases in the university budget and leads to a higher rate of student success.

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