FT Bargaining Update – 7.7.15

At our most recent meeting on June 22, we presented our framework and goals for negotiations with the Tufts administration. An outline follows — along with our presentation and documents related to governance.

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Massachusetts Contingent Faculty Now Eligible for Earned Sick Time Benefits

Following overwhelming support at the ballot box, new regulations account for educators’ time spent both in and outside the classroom.

BOSTON, MA – For the first time in the Commonwealth’s history, thousands of faculty members at institutions of higher education will be able to care for themselves or a sick loved one without fear of repercussions from their employer. According to new regulations issued by Attorney General Maura Healey, [see Section 33.03(7)(a), final regs], educators will join workers throughout Massachusetts in gaining access to earned sick time beginning today.

“On multiple occasions, I’ve been forced to take my sick child to work with me when she was too ill to be at her own school. I didn’t feel I could cancel my class,” said Bayla Ostrach, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Boston University. “I am relieved to think that I can now stay home, with no repercussions, when my child or I are contagious.”

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FT Bargaining Update – 3.25.15

We conducted seven meetings with aggregate attendance of about forty full-time lecturers. There was general consensus across departments and meetings, which is outlined below.

The general narrative is to disrupt the existing hierarchy or caste system that exists between teaching and research faculty and replace it with a more equitable system in which both are valued.

With few exceptions, the boilerplate proposal will be the same as articles recently agreed upon in the Part-Time Lecturer Contract.

These provisions are: (i) mostly standard and non-controversial; (ii) where not, were vigorously discussed and bargained for in the negotiations by the part-time lecturers; (iii) are unlikely to win agreement to change from the administration if the union tried to change them; and (iv) are of equal relevance and applicability to both part-time and full-time Lecturers. Continue Reading…

By 2-to-1 Margin, Full-Time Faculty at Tufts University Vote “Union Yes”

More than 2,700 Boston-area educators now united through FacultyForward/SEIU


By a two-to-one margin, full-time faculty at Tufts University voted overwhelmingly to form their union today, casting ballots to join Faculty Forward – a project of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 509. The victory caps off a string of faculty union victories in recent months, as more than 2,700 non-tenure-track educators throughout the Greater Boston area have come together to improve their profession and the overall quality of higher education through unionization.

“We believed that a union would help us build a real community – one where all faculty can more effectively contribute to our shared mission of educating students,” said Penn Loh, a lecturer in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. “Coupled with the progress made by our part-time colleagues, today’s victory will no doubt raise the Tufts learning experience to new heights.”

With today’s vote, nearly 100 full-time lecturers at Tufts join adjunct colleagues at Boston University, Northeastern and Lesley in forming unions through SEIU Local 509. In October, part-time lecturers at Tufts signed their first union contract – making significant gains around compensation, working conditions and educators’ role in decision-making. Contingent faculty on the Lesley and Northeastern campuses also began contract negotiations recently, with a union vote currently underway among Bentley University adjuncts.

“Lecturers from many disciplines came together today to show how deeply we care about this institution,” said Claire Schub, a lecturer in Romance Languages. “Through our union, we now have a real voice in the decisions that matter most to educators and our students – and we look forward to working together for a brighter future at Tufts.”

At 2,700 strong and growing, Boston-area faculty form the core of a robust, nationwide movement to address the crisis in higher education – where the role of educators is increasingly low-wage and marginalized, despite tuition increases and growing endowments. The groundbreaking effort seeks to reinvest in the classroom, raise standards and improve stability through the Faculty Forward and Adjunct Action initiatives.

The Tufts full-time faculty election was conducted in-person, with ballots cast on the university’s Medford campus over a two-day period. More than 80% of eligible faculty members participated in the election.


SEIU Local 509 represents more than 18,000 human service workers and educators throughout the commonwealth, including 2,600 part- and full-time faculty in the Greater Boston area. SEIU 509 members provide a variety of social services to elders, at-risk children and people with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities — as well as educational opportunities from early learning to higher education. Local 509 is part of the Service Employees International Union, the fastest-growing labor union in the United States. For more information, visit http://seiu509.org.

Part-Time Faculty Organizing Meeting Set for February 19

With our contract finalized, we are ready to take the first steps to build our union structure on campus. Now is the time to select union representatives and set up committees!

Please join us for an organizing meeting on Thursday, February 19, from 12:00pm to 1:15pm. Location TBD (Monday schedule on that Thursday).

At this meeting, we will set up the following committees:

Representatives Council
Made up of union representatives from each department, the Representatives Council is open to all part-time faculty who are union members. An ideal ration is one rep per 10 part-time faculty. Immediate issues to address include:

  • making sure that department chairs and part-time faculty develop evaluation processes appropriate to their department;
  • making sure that all part-time faculty understand the rights they have with one-year, two-year and three-year appointments.

University-Lecturer Committee
This committee will be composed of four department reps, who will be chosen from the Representatives Council on a rotating basis. At the February 19 meeting, we will choose the reps who will meet with administrators at the first University-Lecturer Committee in early March.

Professional Development Fund Committee (PDFC)
Like the Representatives Council, this committee is open to all part-time lecturers who are union members. At our first PDFC meeting, we will define criteria for eligible activities (e.g. conferences, workshops, trainings, materials, etc.), along with a process for soliciting and selecting proposals.

If you are unable to attend the February 19 organizing meeting, but would like to serve as a Department Rep or on the PDFC, please let Carley know via email.