We, the undersigned students, faculty and community members, support our adjunct faculty coming together right now at Champlain, St Michael’s and Burlington College in winning a voice to improve their working conditions and raise standards by forming a union. In doing so, adjuncts at Champlain, St. Michael’s and Burlington College are joining adjuncts nationally in building a movement to win work with dignity. We recognize there is a crisis in higher ed: in 1960 75% of all faculty nationally were full-time and tenured. Today the opposite is true: 72% of all academics are adjuncts, unsure whether they will receive courses in subsequent semesters, enduring poverty wages, lacking access to healthcare, regularly passed over for full-time positions, without office space inside the institutions they teach to prepare for class or meet with students.
This is an idea whose time has come. No one -including professional academics, vested with the responsibility of educating Vermont’s next generation- should be treated like probationary employees years or even decades into one’s career, subsisting off a sub-minimum wage salary. In that spirit, we ask these colleges to adopt high-road practices, and not obstruct these low wage, undervalued academics from exercising the fundamental human right to organize, to better their work conditions, to raise educational standards, and to win work with dignity.
When adjuncts unionize, everyone benefits because adjunct working conditions are student learning conditions. Therefore, adjuncts’ inability to work with dignity impacts the next generation of Vermont residents’ access to quality educational outcomes. In the spirit of the long enshrined Vermont value of coming together to solve the crises facing our communities, we as students, faculty and community members stand with our adjuncts as they seek long-overdue justice. Therefore, we call on the administrations of Champlain, St. Michael’s and Burlington College to live out the values of their respective mission statements.
We, the undersigned, support the right of contingent faculty at Champlain, St. Michael’s and Burlington College to form their union. We ask that these administrations remain neutral and not use student tuition funds or other college resources to oppose the unionization effort, and we pledge to speak out against any intimidation or retaliation that may be a result of contingent faculty invoking their right to organize.
Let adjuncts at Champlain, St. Michael's and Burlington College know you have their backs: sign the petition to show your support for contingent faculty as they form their union. →