Adjunct faculty at Washington University ratified a four year agreement on April 28 by an overwhelming margin. The contract contains wage increases, scheduling changes and greater stability for the adjunct faculty at the university. It guarantees the same level of academic freedom enjoyed by other Washington University faculty.
The agreement was reached after months of pressure on the university, including media attention, petitions, hundreds of calls to the university along with support from political leaders, other unions and students, faculty and staff. On April 14, the adjuncts planned a walk out which received widespread attention both in the media and among the Washington University community, and resulted in redoubling the pressure on the university to successfully settle the contract.
“This agreement is a step forward for educators at Washington University in St. Louis, and it sets the bar for the region,” said Michael O’Bryan, English Instructor. “The St. Louis community now has awareness of the plight of adjunct faculty and knows that universities need to do better. Adjuncts at Wash U have achieved substantial wage increases, access to professional development funds, and increased job security. We look forward to continuing this momentum into higher education at neighboring institutions.”
The more than 300 Washington University adjunct professors voted to join Service Employees International Union Local 1 on January 5, 2015, and were joined in October 2015 by more than 500 adjunct professors at St. Louis Community College, and in March 2016 by more than 300 adjunct professors at St. Charles Community College, who voted overwhelmingly to join SEIU Local 1. On April 14, non-tenured faculty at Saint Louis University filed petitions to join Local 1.