ITHACA, N.Y. â€” Ithaca Collegeâ€™s part-time faculty hasÂ voted to formÂ a union, according toÂ Sarah Grunberg, who teaches in ICâ€™s Department of Sociology.
â€œItâ€™s a huge thing for Ithaca College and for the whole community,â€ said Grunberg, who has been involved in the push to form a union. â€œWeâ€™re incredibly happy, excited and proud.â€
Grunberg is in Buffalo with other part-time Ithaca College faculty, who learned on Thursday about the results of the vote. The final vote was 172 in favor of unionization and 53 opposed, according to Grunberg.
The vote follows several months of advocacy and planning from organizers. Those leading the unionization push have said part-time IC faculty face low pay, long hours and poor healthcare benefits that a union would help correct.
The IC part-time faculty will be joining the national union SEIU, according to Grunberg.
â€œWeâ€™re taking this route to create better standards for all part-timers,â€ Grunberg said.
As previously reported by the Ithaca Voice: Ithaca College is hardly alone in facing criticism for the level of pay for its adjuncts. Last year, Chronicle of Higher Education reporter Sydni Dunn highlighted a 36-page report from Congress noting the â€œalarmingâ€ state of adjunct labor.
â€œContingent faculty often earn low salaries with few or no benefits, are forced to maintain difficult schedules to make ends meet, face unclear paths for career development, and enjoy little to no job security,â€ the report stated.
The schoolâ€™s administration has said that it â€œsupports its employees exercising their rights under the National Labor Relations Act to vote on whether or not they wish to be represented by a labor organization.â€