As Adjunct Professors at Plymouth State University move closer to their election, another 200 community members ranging from small towns in Massachusetts to Bethlehem, NH signed support cards. Local townspeople are supporting their Adjunct Professors and their noble pursuit to improve pay, benefits and working conditions for all Adjuncts. PSU staff, faculty, and local citizens have expressed through their own experiences, the continued need to see Adjunct Faculty acquire:
Pay parity within USNH.
Proportional healthcare benefits.
A permanent faculty development program.
A strong and collective adjunct voice.
As the Public Employee Labor Relations Board will soon set an election date, it is now time for you to decide if you want to join with the majority (over 50 %) of Adjunct Professors teaching at Plymouth State University.
Will you vote YES for SEA/SEIU Local 1984 when your ballot arrives?
Please leave a comment, your feedback is vital to the ongoing dialogue.
“I work two other jobs to support my teaching habit. Because of this, I often find myself working during the early morning hours waking at 1 or 2 am to grade papers is not an unusual occurence during the semester. I am committed to Plymouth State University and especially my students, but if I could afford to be even more focused and on campus, my students would certainly benefit. Unionization would allow adjuncts to negotiate for stable employment.
For me, this would mean that both my working life and personal life would change- for the better. I would be better able to provide for my family, and to grow as a professional. I would not have to take time away from my passion- teaching, to be able to pay the rent.
PSU prides itself on being able to provide learning opportunities for students that will enable them to enter the workforce and work with a sense of fulfillment and dignity- this is an opportunity that adjuncts should also be able to take advantage of. I wish this for all of my students, and also for all of the talented, professional people who teach them.”
-Rebecca Alosa, Plymouth State University Adjunct Faculty, English Department
“Adjuncts at Keene State College make up to $500 more per credit than adjuncts at Plymouth State. I’m teaching 12 credits this semester. Teaching these same classes at Keene State College would add $6,000 to my pay for the semester. The semester is 15 weeks long. That’s an extra $400 per week.
What would this additional $400 change for me? I could spend that extra money on healthcare. I could pay my student loans without sweating. I could cease looking for work elsewhere. This pay increase would represent a significant increase in financial security for me. Keene State College adjuncts unionized years ago, and they made this change happen for themselves. We believe that a group of adjuncts, singularly focused, motivated to correct injustices, and determined to succeed, can make this change at PSU. ”
Plymouth State University Adjunct Professor, English Department
“6 Weeks left on my current Adjunct agreement, and next month’s rent payment is in question. With a Union, this wouldn’t be happening.”
-Dr. Krisan Evenson
Plymouth State University Adjunct Professor, Social Science
While many of us working as adjunct faculty members face hard times, for some it is more dire than others. Talent and student evaluations notwithstanding, the instability of this kind of work has real consequences. For the last year especially, and increasingly in light of the recent Occupy Wall St. protests sweeping our country, the US adjunct faculty community is feeling the pinch particularly hard. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently included this blog in May 2011 on homelessness faced by talented academic professionals. By the time my current agreement ends in December, the situation will not have improved over the intervening 7 months.
Professor Toby Whalen demonstrates her solidarity by making the case for an Adjunct Union at Plymouth State University.
Her letter is in response to Richard Gerken’s comments published in the 10/28/11 edition of The Laconia Daily Sun.
As a former Adjunct professor for nearly a decade, she highlights the disparity in compensation and workload experienced by many Adjuncts Professors.
Professor Whalen does not make a self-righteous argument, but instead draws on labor history to denote the current inequalities facing Adjunct Professors.
A combined group of over 300 community members in Plymouth, NH are standing with Adjunct Professors to form a union at PSU.
Students, Staff and Faculty (Adjunct, Full-Time, Contract) at Plymouth State University signed support cards to ensure Adjuncts are entitled to a fair election, and believe in their effort to form their Adjunct Union. Students, and staff on campus understand that Adjuncts labor over preparation, execution and maintence of their courses. PSU student Zachariah Goldenberg, maintained that “Adjuncts will have a more secure work environment, which will allow them to dedicate more time to preparation and teaching.”