Posted by christopherhoney on May 11, 2012
Your bargaining team began negotiations for a first union contract for the AU adjunct faculty this month. The tone of our first two meetings was collegiate, and both sides have pledged to a cooperative and productive relationship and look forward to coming to agreement on a contract that will greatly improve the situation of adjunct faculty at American University.
We presented proposals to AU that center on the concerns of adjunct faculty gathered from your feedback through focus groups, one-one conversations, emails and a bargaining survey. We will bargain our non-economic issues first, and get agreement on them before proceeding to economic issues. In our first meeting we presented AU with an initial set of proposals regarding job security, appointments, professional development, evaluations, access to services, the rights and structure of your union, grievance and arbitration and other non-economic issues. In their initial response, American University signaled their willingness to enter into dialogue with the adjunct faculty on these issues. In the coming months, we will be working hard to come to agreements with American University that will create positive changes for adjunct faculty at AU.
Although we are a small number of adjunct faculty members at the bargaining table, the key role in negotiations is played by the adjuncts that are not in the room with us. We are currently signing up adjunct faculty on SEIU Local 500 membership cards. Signing a union membership card is the single most important thing you can do to build the strength of your union and to reflect that strength at the bargaining table. High levels of union membership send a clear message to the American University that the adjunct faculty wants to see improvements in their working conditions through a great union contract.
We are also building our union from the ground up, and are excited to invite you to our first Member Strength Team meeting on Saturday May 19th from 10am to 12noon at SEIU headquarters at 1800 Mass Ave, Washington DC 20036 (Dupont circle metro). At the meeting we will be discussing the future structure of our union, membership strength and how to best support the bargaining team. Join us (click here to RSVP).
Your Bargaining Team
Tania Burton, PhD, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer of German, Department of Language and Foreign Studies
Barbara Wien, Adjunct Instructor, School of International Service
Benjamin Albright, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, Department of Performing Arts/Music
Robert Berman, Adjunct Instructor, Department of Economics
Robert Kramer, PhD, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, Key Executive Leadership Program
Erich Vogt, PhD. Professorial Lecturer, Global Environmental Politics Department