Fall 2016 Newsletter

It is more than a card...
Our Union: Opportunities for Participation

There are so many benefits of our union - over and above the raise in pay scale, availability of professional development funds, representation at the tables of power, fewer suddenly canceled classes, and more secure contracts. Due to the nature of our work, adjuncts often feel alienated or isolated from the campus and community. The new personal connections and friendships made while working together are two of the things we appreciate most. 

Many of you contributed to our organizing and negotiation efforts. But our work is not done. It takes volunteers from each division/school to make this union and first contract work for all of us. We invite you to join us for one or more of the myriad activities needed to make the implementation of our first contract a success. 

The ways you can participate in our growing union are as diverse as our workforce. There is a role that fits every personality type, gnarly schedule and geographical challenge. Some involvement will take as little as 2 hours a month. 

 How you can get involved:

  • Communications: We need a few volunteers willing to spend just a few hours a month to work on the newsletter, create flyers and make phone calls.
  • Outreach and membership: As new members join, we need a few volunteers to reach out and welcome them by phone and email.
  • Faculty Representatives: We need more members willing to serve as Representatives (also known as Stewards) for each of the schools. The time required is often minimal and can vary according to each Rep's availability. The role entails duties such as answering member questions about the details of our contract, attending meetings with members who request a Rep be present per their Weingarten rights, referring issues to a Field Rep at SEIU for further action or formal grievance as warranted, and taking part in grievance meetings. Training will be provided.

About our union: SEIU 

As a member of SEIU Local 509 you are part of the 2.1 million member  Service Employees International Union, the fastest-growing labor union in the United States. More than 12,000 college instructors from all regions of the country have joined SEIU in the last 3 years. Our  Local, 509, represents nearly 20,000 human service workers and educators throughout Massachusetts.  

Union Representatives:

Sarah Slavick
* LUCAD sarah@sarahslavick.com

Beth D.Williams-Breault
* CLASboodzer78@gmail.com

John J. Ciervo
* GSASS john@johnciervo.com

Eleanor Roffman
* GSASSeleanor.roffman329@gmail.com

Norah Dooley
* GSOE norah.dooley@gmail.com

Celia Morris
* GSOE cmorris.seiu509@gmail.com

Professional Development Fundsdev2
Professional Development Funds are available! 

In bargaining with the administration for our first contract, we fought for and won $25,000 per year for adjuncts and our professional activities. This fund pays for professional development opportunities and resources related to your scholarship, artistic or professional practice that will contribute to improving your teaching. The fund will support participation in exhibitions, publications, conferences, workshops, courses, residencies, and other professional events, as well as payment for books, professional memberships, journal subscriptions, curriculum-driven teaching aids, specialized software, archival documentation, and material and supplies.  

To be eligible you must have three years of teaching at Lesley (with a minimum of 2 courses or its equivalence). You can apply for up to $500 per fiscal year. About 30 adjunct faculty members from various departments applied last year but we did not exhaust the fund. We want to this year! 

Following submission, the form automatically forwards to the Adjunct Reviewer (Sarah Slavick), and then on to the Provost's Office. The final step, after successfully receiving the grant, is to submit receipts that total the grant awarded and get reimbursed.
Professional Development: Highlight
Diana Arcadipone

Many years ago, I was asked to develop and teach a Folk Art & Craft course that had been a part of Lesley College. I then discovered a new way to meld my interest in tradition al crafts with my practice as a papermaker, bookmaker, printmaker, and painter. I found that a scholarly approach enabled me to define Folk Art in a way where community and place is central along with other criteria: creating with natural and scavenged materials, sourcing the local environment for supplies, creating implements and tools needed, learning from elders, family, members in the community, and making objects that we need for daily life. At LUCAD, the Folk Art & Craft course brings together makers of many disciplines.
I am so grateful to have received an adjunct faculty development grant from Lesley University. In addition, I recently received a Maine Arts Commission artist project grant to create a Folk Art and Craft Center in my home in the Oxford Hills region of Maine. In tandem, both grants enable me to do more research, purchase materials for experimentation and buy equipment for my own practice. My goal is to introduce more handmade techniques in the classroom/workshop setting. Working together we all foster the belief that making, regardless of the medium, is vital to the health of our students, communities and society.

Get Out The Vote UniversityGOTV
This election cycle has been shocking and often dispiriting. Yet, students and faculty have reason to be optimistic because there's growing momentum to reclaim higher education as a public good so that it can once again become a pathway to the American Dream.
It's crucial we take a stand and let politicians know that we care about fixing higher education. Faculty Forward has recently launched GOTVU Pledge Week to mobilize students and faculty around the country to step up and fix our broken higher education system.
Our peers around the country are joining a nationwide movement to restore the promise of higher education. Now is the time to join them.
By pledging to be a higher ed voter, we're pledging to support:
  • Debt-free college and debt relief for every family.
  • Fair pay and a union for faculty, graduate workers and support staff.
  • Accountability for universities that waste and misuse taxpayer money.
  • Policies that address racial inequality and the stratification of students and faculty of color in higher education.
Today, students spend their entire lives trying to pay off debt while professors are paid so little that they qualify for food stamps. We can change that.
Make sure your voice is heard at the ballot box this November! 
Update on Membership / Dues
We are pleased to report that the great majority of our bargaining unit members have elected to become Union members. This shows the administration the extent of our collective support for our union, from which we all benefit. 
Higher Education Chapter of SEIU 509
We are members of the Higher Education Chapter of SEIU509, which currently consists of the adjunct and contingent faculty at Tufts, Lesley, Northeastern, Boston University, Bentley and Brandeis. As Lesley adjuncts, we look forward to participating in Chapter Board meetings over the course of the academic year so that we can continue to strengthen our relationships with our fellow non-tenure-track colleagues across the greater Boston area.
UPDATES updates
  • The National Labor Relations Board recently ruled that graduate student employees (GSEs) at private universities have the right to form unions. The SEIU Local 509 Higher Education Chapter is in the process of opening organizing campaigns among GSEs in the greater Boston area.
  • The Local is engaged in an ongoing campaign to organize online faculty at area universities.
  • The Core Faculty at Lesley just ratified their first collective bargaining agreement. We look forward to working with them to address issues of mutual concern in the coming months and years.
  • Part-time Faculty are continuing to negotiate for their first contract at Brandeis University, as are Full-time non-tenure stream Faculty at BU.
Look for email alerts about rallies you can participate in to support our fellow contingent faculty union members at area colleges and universities. 
SEIU Member Benefits
SEIU Member Benefits leverages the buying power of millions of SEIU members to negotiate deals that can make a difference for you and your family. These include: a body of financial services including credit cards and personal loans; group rates on a growing portfolio of insurance products; special discounts at thousands of stores and favorite merchants; specially negotiated rates and travel programs. New benefits are added all the time.

Questions: 1-444-836-7348 or visit  www.seiumb.com
Brand New: SEIU 509 Climate Change Committeeclimate
Inspired by recent struggles in Massachusetts to slow fossil fuel consumption, halt climate change and a clear mandate from SEIU International this spring, a group of activists within the union have formed a committee to address climate change.
"We know first-hand that our fights for economic, racial, and immigrant justice are inextricably linked to the fight for environmental justice."
-Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Mary Kay
"Working people and the most vulnerable in society are disproportionately affected by the catastrophic effects of climate change. It is great to belong to a union that understands that and realizes that there are no jobs on a dead planet."
- Norah Dooley
Attending to our external environment is the responsibility of all of us. This committee can provide us with the opportunity to work together as union members to address the global impact of climate change.

For more information please contact:
Eleanor Roffman * GSASS eleanor.roffman329@gmail.com
Norah Dooley * GSOE norah.dooley@gmail.com