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Adjunct Faculty at Point Park Overwhelmingly Ratifies Contract

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015
CONTACT: R.J. Hufnagel, (412) 562-2450,

First Agreement with University Provides Pay Increases, Job Security

PITTSBURGH (Nov. 5) – Members of the Adjunct Faculty Association of the United Steelworkers (AFA-USW) voted overwhelmingly to ratify the union’s first contract with Point Park University in downtown Pittsburgh.  

AFA-USW members voted to approve the agreement by a 93 percent margin. The vote was conducted by mail.

The 3½-year agreement provides for a 23 percent wage increase over the course of the contract, along with

Chatham University Organizing Campaign

Chatham University faculty can now elect to join the USW through an electronic form. Click here to access the form.

NLRB Office: Duquesne U Adjuncts May Form Union

June 8, 2015    from Inside Higher Ed

A regional National Labor Relations Board office decided late last week that adjuncts at Duquesne University may form a union affiliated with the United Steelworkers. Adjuncts teaching at Duquesne’s McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts voted to form a union in 2012, but the Roman Catholic university argued that its religious identity put it outside NLRB jurisdiction.

Pittsburgh Labor Board finds in favor of Duquesne Adjuncts

June 7, 2015      By Courier Newsroom

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh regional office of the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision June 5 ordering that Duquesne University recognize the Adjunct Faculty Association of the United Steelworkers as the collective bargaining representative of part-time faculty at Duquesne’s McAnulty College of Liberal Arts. Part-time faculty at the College voted overwhelmingly to organize with the AFA-USW in 2012.
Although some of Duquesne’s employees are represented by several other unions, Duquesne claimed that recognizing the AFA-USW would infringe on its

St. Michael's Admin Remains Neutral; Adjunct Faculy Vote Union

Adjunct faculty members at St. Michael’s College in Vermont voted to form a union affiliated with Service Employees International Union, they announced Monday. They’re the third group of adjuncts to vote to form unions under SEIU’s Adjunct Action campaign in recent weeks, after those at Burlington and Champlain colleges. About 75 percent of St. Michael’s eligible faculty participate in the vote, and the tally was 46 in favor and 26 opposed.

Anne Tewksbury-Frye, an adjunct faculty member at St. Michael’s College and Champlain College, said in a statement that the St.

Why Adjuncts at Robert Morris University Need a Union

by Jim Talerico

What are some of things people look for in a job—and why do they stay in a job? Typically, we want a career in which we are paid fairly, receive benefits, feel respected and valued, are able to make a contribution to the business or organization and, finally, where we are—at least most of the time—content and satisfied.

Unfortunately, for most adjunct professors—who make up more than 75 percent of all college professors—these goals are unattainable.

I talk from experience.

Organizers Hope Point Park Is Just The First to Unionize

June 26, 2014

by Mark Noobar, 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh, Pa. -- Point Park University Adjunct Facility have voted to unionize and the administration seems to be ready to let that happen. 

Credit Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr

Following the 172-79 vote, the University responded with a written statement, which read in part,“This is long over due,” said PPU adjunct English and French teacher Rebecca Taksel.  “We adjuncts… have been marginalized for so long.”

“We are pleased that so many adjunct faculty members took the time to make their voices heard on this important issue.


Adjunct Unemployment Compensation Initiative (AUCI)

Adjunct Unemployment Compensation Initiative (AUCI) is motivated by a conviction that when adjunct faculty are unemployed through no fault of their own they are entitled to unemployment compensation, just like other workers.

The law prohibits teachers from collecting unemployment compensation over breaks if they have a “reasonable assurance” of employment following the break, but this law was clearly written with K-12 teachers in mind. Colleges and Universities clearly operate year-round, so the summer is not a “break.” This means that an adjunct faculty member who wants to teach during the summer but is not offered courses has been laid off, and is therefore entitled to unemployment compensation.

Even when an adjunct faculty member has an offer of courses for the Fall, that offer does not provide “reasonable assurance” of anything since it is contingent on enrollment or other factors that are beyond the control of the faculty member or of the employer. That is not an offer but an indication that an offer may be made if enough students enroll. Adjunct faculty thus have “reasonable assurance” of nothing. This summer, lawyers from the USW will provide support to adjunct faculty members in Western Pennsylvania who want to apply for unemployment compensation. If you’d like to be contacted about participating in the AUCI, please fill out the form below, and someone will get in touch with you.

The Adjunct Unemployment Compensation Initiative is a project of the Metro Volunteer Organizing Committee (MVOC) of the Adjunct Faculty Association of the United Steelworkers (AFA-USW). We are dedicated to strengthening the Pittsburgh region’s adjunct faculty community by organizing and finding creative ways to engage and support the educators who teach a majority of the college students in the area.

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