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. We receive widely disparate job titles, contracts, employment requirements and expectations. We have no clear program for advancement or long-term job security, despite the fact that some of us have been teaching at (HNU) for over a decade.
As adjuncts, we 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, we 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, continued employment, decent pay, benefits, access to campus resources and professional growth.
Most importantly, we remain an unprotected class of employees. Without union representation, we are often at the mercy of our employers, with little redress for unfair treatment, contract negotiations, or governance issues. Along with our colleagues on other campuses across the country, we 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 are 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, we 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 aim to unite in the campaign to unionize, use our collective strength to assert our basic rights, and work toward improved conditions for all.
We, the undersigned, 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.