Adjunct Faculty at Augsburg College Vote to Join SEIU Local 284 in Push to Raise Standards

Adjunct Faculty at Augsburg College Vote to Join SEIU Local 284 in Push to Raise Standards

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Second faculty union win in as many months marks growing movement as Augsburg College adjuncts join Hamline, MCAD, U of M in fight to improve higher education

MINNEAPOLIS – Over 200 adjunct faculty at Augsburg College formed a faculty union with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 284 in balloting that ended Monday. Instructors formed a union for a stronger voice to improve teaching conditions and advocate on behalf of students.

“I voted yes to form an adjunct faculty union at Augsburg because I love teaching here, but I pay more in child care than I make from teaching and it is unsustainable,” said Jessica Ennis, an Adjunct Instructor in Physics at Augsburg College. “We need to work together as adjunct faculty, tenure-line faculty, and administrators to improve our teaching conditions and student’s learning conditions.”

Ballots were mailed out to Augsburg adjunct faculty by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Tuesday, November 8 and were counted Tuesday afternoon. With a vote count of 76 to 63, 54% percent voted in favor of forming a union.

“I deeply value my relationship with Augsburg College and I am honored to serve my students and our community,” said Cory Knudtson, an Adjunct Instructor in Education. “I believe many adjuncts wanted to have a collective voice within the school to create an environment where we can best meet our students’ needs.”

Augsburg faculty join over 13,000 higher education instructors across the country who have formed unions with SEIU in the last three years to address the growing crisis in the higher education faculty profession, including adjunct faculty at Hamline University in Saint Paul and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) in Minneapolis.

Steve Boland, an Adjunct Faculty member at Hamline University, expressed the support of SEIU Local 284 members: “We are excited to hear that adjunct faculty at Augsburg have voted to join our union. We made major improvements at Hamline in our first union contract, so I am excited to think about what we can accomplish together with faculty at other colleges across the Twin Cities.”

Adjunct faculty at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) voted to join SEIU Local 284 last month, and Hamline University won their first union contract earlier this year. Tenure-track and contingent faculty at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus filed for a union election in January and await their election to be ordered by the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services in September.

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MN Academics United is an affiliate of SEIU Local 284. Faculty at Twin Cities colleges and universities are coming together to form unions for a stronger voice in shaping our institutions’ direction and priorities, our working conditions, and the future of higher education in Minnesota.