Contingent full-time faculty at Ithaca College (IC) have voted yes to join contingent faculty at schools across the country in Service Employees International Union (SEIU)/Faculty Forward. The victory shows growing momentum for college faculty forming unions in New York, following the success of part-time faculty at IC last May and full-time and part-time contingent faculty at Wells College in January.
IC contingent full-time faculty will join SEIU Local 200United as part of Faculty Forward. The victory was overwhelming.
Shoshe Cole, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, reflected on the victory: “It was exciting to go to the NLRB in Buffalo and watch them announce all of the “Yes” votes! We look forward to meeting the Administration at the bargaining table as legal equals.”
Full-time contingent faculty at Ithaca College currently teach on a limited-term basis without any assurance of reassignment and with no path for promotion. Like their part-time colleagues, they lack a voice in shared governance and work without job security.
Rachel Gunderson, Instructor in Health Promotion and Physical Education, said: “Now that we have voted to form a union for full-time contingent faculty, our next goal is to join our part-time colleagues already at the bargaining table and negotiate one contract with our administration. We believe that as one group of contingent faculty, we can negotiate for a stronger academic program for both faculty and students.”
Speaking as a member Ithaca College’s part-time contingent faculty negotiating committee, part-time lecturer in Writing, Rachel Kaufman added, “We support our full-time contingent colleagues one-hundred percent in joining us at the bargaining table to negotiate one contract for full-time and part-time contingent faculty. As contingent faculty, we share many of the same concerns around faculty continuity, job security and inclusion in the academic community and we share the same vision for an equitable Ithaca College that puts faculty and students first.”
Throughout New York State and across the country contingent faculty continue to fight to address the crisis in higher education: a marginalized teaching faculty, quickly rising tuition, and record levels of student debt. Ithaca College full-time contingent faculty join over 26,000 contingent faculty members in SEIU/Faculty Forward who have won workplace improvements like improved pay, job security, evaluation processes, and access to benefits.