In New Hampshire, Lecturers Bid for Union

Congratulations to full-time non-tenure-track faculty at the University of New Hampshire, who have filed cards for an election for union representation with the AAUP! Here's their media release about the card filing:

From:   UNH Lecturers United—AAUP
Contact:  Sarah Hirsch
Phone:  738-8633
Date:   12/6/13

UNH Lecturers Form Union

Durham, NH.  Full-time lecturers at the University of New Hampshire have successfully launched a bid to form a union as a chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). A relatively new teaching position at UNH, lecturers do not have the same salary as professors and are not eligible for tenure or to join the professors’ union.

University of New Hampshire Lecturers United AAUP, the group organizing the union drive, has attained support from 70% of their colleagues in a grassroots effort on the Durham and Manchester campuses, exceeding the 30% minimum mandated by the Public Employees Labor Relation Board. After the bid is reviewed, the lecturers will hold an election in early 2014.

Sarah Hirsch, Lecturer of Spanish, says lecturers are unionizing because, “we lack a transparent process of evaluation, a standardized process for contract renewals, and fair and transparent grievance policies.” She added that in the last two years, UNH has hired over 100 lecturers, but there are often no policies in individual departments or in Human Resources that define their positions. According to Adam St. Jean, Lecturer in Chemical Engineering, “transparent, consistent contracts would greatly improve the sense of job security for lecturers and would enhance our ability to teach with excellence. As more lecturers serve UNH, it only makes sense to provide that security.”   

Currently there are 200 lecturers at UNH who teach nearly half the students on campus. Lecturers have many of the same qualifications as tenure-track professors such as advanced degrees, and publishing or extensive experience in their field. However, Clark Knowles, Lecturer of English, notes the salary of lecturers at UNH is 40% below the national average. Chrissy O’Keefe, Lecturer of English, adds “like teachers everywhere, we’d like a voice in how our classrooms are run and we choose to do this through the collective bargaining unit of a union.”

After the election for the union takes place in early 2014, the organizing group will begin negotiations with university administrators to write a contract for lecturers.

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Publication Date: 
Friday, December 6, 2013