March 11, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Boston, MA – Full-time salaried lecturers and instructors at Boston University filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board Mar. 4, requesting a vote to be represented by a union.
The more than 275 faculty members who are not on a track for tenure are seeking to join Faculty Forward, a division of Service Employees International Union Local 509. Nontenure-track faculty teach about two-thirds of the university’s classes, the union says, and about three-fifths of them work full-time or receive a salary. “It’s so exciting,” Somy Kim, 38, a lecturer in the writing program, said Mar. 5. “I think it’s really important for a lot of us who feel… unstable without a real contract.” The B.U. administration will likely oppose the vote, saying it prefers “maintaining direct lines of communication with our faculty” to going “through an outside entity.” Full-time teaching staff at two other Boston-area universities, Tufts in Somerville and Lesley in Cambridge, voted to form unions last year and are now negotiating contracts. Read More