Adjunct union begins negotiations with AU

AU and the union representing the University’s adjunct faculty members, Service Employee International Union (SEIU) Local 500, entered into contract negotiations on April 16.

The new contract will be a compromise between the University and its adjunct faculty members.

Director of Research and Strategic Planning at SEIU Local 500 Anne McLeer said the two parties are still discussing what the adjuncts have voiced as problems, such as job security and adequate access to services on campus.

McLeer said if all goes well, a contract may be finalized by the end of the calendar year.

“It’s impossible to tell right now,” she said. “But if we proceed as it’s going so far, we could be finished by December.”

The groups have not discussed economic issues such as adjuncts’ pay, according to Student Worker Alliance (SWA) member and School of Public Affairs junior Ethan Miller. Miller has stayed in tune with the issues by checking in with SEIU Local 500 and various adjuncts to ensure student support, he said.

“We’re keeping our eyes and ears open,” he said. “If things aren’t going well with the University, we’re going to take action.”

Miller said SWA will provide student support by rallying to ensure AU’s adjuncts are paid well.

“Our priority is paying professors well so we can get a good quality education,” he said.

However, the University and SEIU Local 500 will continue to hold meetings throughout the summer and into the fall until a contract is established.

Both parties believe the negotiations are going well.

“We believe the negotiations are progressing in a constructive and cooperative atmosphere,” said Provost Scott Bass in an email.

“We’re very happy with the tone of the negotiations so far,” McLeer said. “I think we’re on the road to a decent agreement.”

pjones@theeagleonline.com

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