The Inter Faculty Organization (IFO), who represents the interests of faculty at the seven Minnesota State universities, hosted an informational picket at Hamline University Thursday morning to support the Hamline adjunct faculty union. IFO distributed signs to carry and handouts for students asking them to contact the administration in support of Hamline adjunct faculty.
David Weiss is an adjunct professor in the Department of Religion on the bargaining committee and steward with SEIU 284 the union representing adjuncts explained why he was there;
“We are out here because we are disappointed that the university has not been more willing to work with us in partnership to reach a new contract. In particular over economic issues .it’s not the only issue that we’re stuck on. we’ve been committed since we unionized in 2014 to bargain our way back to the buying power that we had in 2005 and we’re still $200 shy of that, and the universities best offer in negotiations right now would push us over $400 behind it, so they’re actually widening the gap rather than closing it.”
Adjunct faculty at private colleges in the Twin Cities joined with SEIU and accomplished their first successful union drive at Hamline University. Hamline’s initial contract expired at the end of August 2018. After 20 negotiating sessions, little progress has been made toward a second contract for Hamline’s adjunct faculty.
The IFO stated, “we need to link arms toward a more just, more fair, set of working conditions for the benefit of Hamline’s adjunct faculty union members, the students they teach, and the future of higher education.”