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November 7, 2014

Vermont Adjunct News & Updates

November 7, 2014 | By |

Check out the new website of our metro organizing committee!

Vermont Edition Piece on Union Efforts

Genevieve Jacobs, an adjunct faculty member at Champlain College and  Sean Witters, a lecturer in the English Department at the University of Vermont, spoke to VPR about their experiences as adjuncts and the unionization process. Click here to listen to the full interview. 

Update: Victory at St. Michael’s

Adjunct professors at St. Michael’s College in Vermont today voted strongly in favor of forming a union with SEIU/Adjunct Action. By a margin of 64% in favor (46 yes to 26 no), the adjuncts at St. Michael’s join their colleagues at Champlain College and Burlington College, who voted overwhelmingly to form adjunct unions at their respective colleges last week. Read more here.

Update: Victory at Champlain and Burlington

Adjunct faculty at Burlington and Champlain colleges have voted overwhelmingly in favor of forming a union with SEIU/Adjunct Action, with 80% at Champlain College (118 to 30) and 85% at Burlington College (23 to 4) adjunct faculty voting yes to a union. Read more here.

Support from Senator Bernie Sanders

Our union organizing efforts have received the strong support of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders! In letters to adjunct faculty, he wrote, “It is not my intention to tell you how to vote in that election. That is your decision. What I will tell you, however, is that I have had the opportunity of working with thousands of Vermont  workers who are members of unions – including many who work in the field of education.  These include the full-time and adjunct faculty at UVM and the Vermont State Colleges, public school teachers – among others. These workers formed their unions to improve the conditions of their employment. What forming a union means is that you and your co-workers will have the opportunity to sit down as legal equals with management to negotiate a legally binding contract covering all aspects of your wages, benefits, and working conditions.”

Read the full letters of support here and here.

Support from United Academics

Our union organizing efforts have received the support and endorsement from the Executive Council of United Academics, the union that represents the faculty of the University of Vermont. Here’s their statement:The Executive Council of United Academics stands in solidarity with the part-time faculty of St. Michael’s College, Champlain College and Burlington College and Adjunct Action as they conduct their Union elections. We support the right of all workers, including faculty, to unionize with a union of their choice, and to bargain collectively. We call upon the Administrations of these three institutions not to interfere in any way with the election process. We call upon students and staff at these institutions to support their faculties in their drive for Union representation. We encourage faculty at these institutions to vote Union YES! Because Faculty Working Conditions are Student Learning Conditions.”

The High Cost of Adjunct Living: Vermont

The white paper “The High Cost of Adjunct Living: Vermont” has been released. In it, there’s figures detailing how being a university professor, once the quintessential middle-class job, has become a low-wage one. Read the full report here. 

Adjunct Symposium

We held our adjunct faculty symposium over the weekend, and d the excitement was palpable as we heard from colleagues here in VT and across the country about how adjuncts are fighting and winning big improvements in job security, working conditions, and student learning conditions. Here’s a picture from the event. We’re ready to Vote Yes! as ballots are mailed.

VoteYesSmall

Community Petition Delivered

Three delegations of students, faculty, alumni, and community members marched on the Presidents of St. Mike’s and Burlington Colleges and the Provost of Champlain College to present the community neutrality petition, which has received almost 650 signatures. Pictured below is the St. Michael’s delegation.

St Mikes Delegation small

Support from the City Council

City Council members Selene Colburn, Max Tracy, Vince Brennan, and Rachel Siegel wrote letters expressing their support for adjunct organizing in Vermont that were delivered to the respective college administration. In them, the city council members wrote, “We are writing to express our support for a fair and neutral process that allows … adjunct faculty members to make their decision about representation in a free and fair election that is not marred by intimidation, coercion or unnecessary legal hearings or delays.” Read the full versions here: St. Michael’s Letter;   Champlain College Letter;   Burlington College Letter

Support from VT Legislators

32 Vermont State Representatives and Senators have signed letters supporting the adjunct organizing effort in Vermont. The letters, sent to the administrators at Champlain, Burlington, and St. Michael’s colleges, state: “We support adjuncts moving towards a free and fair election, free from intimidation, coercion, and unnecessary legal hearings or delays. We believe there is no reason for the institution to use student tuition dollars or other college resources to fight the adjuncts right to organize.” Read the full letters below.

Champlain College Letter of Support

Burlington College Letter of Support

St. Michael’s Letter of Support

Support from the American Federation of Teachers

American of Federation of Teachers Vermont’s President Benjamin Johnson has sent letters in support of the ongoing Adjunct Action Vermont adjunct faculty organizing efforts to the administrations of Champlain, Burlington and St. Michael’s colleges. In the letters he says adjuncts organizing at all three schools “have a right to make this important and personal decision without fear of intimidation or coercion. AFT is deeply committed to supporting workers’ rights and standing up for fair labor standards for all working people.”  Read the full letters here: AFT Support Letter.

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