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More Good Organizing News: Adjunct, Part-Time Faculty Vote To Unionize With SEIU At Brandeis In Boston – Workers Become The Sixth Boston-Area Group Of Higher Education Workers To Unionize In The Past Two Years

Published Wednesday, December 23, 2015
by Sarah Roberts/The Boston Globe

(BOSTON) - Adjunct and Part-Time Faculty at Brandeis University have voted 4-to-1 in favor of Unionizing, becoming the sixth Boston-area group of Higher Education Workers to do so in the past two years.

The Brandeis Faculty will join the Faculty Forward Union, a division of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 509.

About 3,200 Boston-area Educators are already Members of the Nationwide Union, including workers at Northeastern, Bentley, Lesley, Tufts, and Boston universities.

On November 4th, 2015, more than 200 faculty at Brandeis announced they would be filing a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to become a part of SEIU.

Approximately 80% of Adjunct Faculty participated in last week’s vote, according to a statement from SEIU.  The final count found 128 in favor and 28 against Unionization.

Brandeis Interim Provost Irv Epstein said the university will be coordinating with the Union and Faculty moving forward: “We look forward to working with the SEIU to reach a Collective Bargaining Agreement for these Employees.”

In a statement from SEIU, Brandeis Lecturer in the University Writing Program and Alumnus Steve Plunkett said the move has been supported by both Educators and Students: “With the support of our Students, Colleagues and Community Allies, we’ve taken a ‘major step’ toward ‘improving’ the teaching and learning environment at Brandeis.  We ‘look forward’ to ‘setting new standards’ that reflect the university’s ‘real’ commitment to Social Justice and academic excellence.”

Amy Todd, an instructor in the Rabb School of Continuing Studies and a Brandeis Alum, said a strong Union Contract would enhance the quality of in-class experiences at Brandeis: “The ‘quality’ of ‘any’ university is found in the ‘quality’ of its Faculty, and our colleagues voted overwhelmingly to ‘change Brandeis for the better.’  Through a ‘strong’ Union Contract, we’ll finally ‘secure’ the course stability, classroom investments and ‘Faculty Voice’ in decision-making that are at the ‘core’ of the legacy of (Supreme Court Justice Louis) Brandeis, for whom our university is named.”

The vote was conducted by mail and the ballots were counted at the NLRB Office in Boston.

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