Within the past year, both Part-Time and Full-Time Contingent Faculty at Ithaca College (IC) unionized with SEIU200 United as their union. (‘Contingent faculty’ are non-tenure track college teachers. At IC, they earn poverty wages, receive no health benefits, and must re-apply for their job every year.) Negotiations have begun in recent months and both PTers and FTers have been very disappointed with initial proposals from the IC Administration.
The Ithaca College Contingent Faculty Union is requesting a large community presence of support at a Rally at Ithaca College. The Rally will be this coming Wednesday, October 19th, at 6 p.m. at Free Speech Rock on the IC Campus, which is on the IC Quad near Campus Center. Please join the Tompkins County Workers’ Center and many local unions who will be there in solidarity!
If you’re able to make the Rally, please respond to this email, or sign-in to the Facebook event. Also watch the excellent 7 minute video created by students from IC Students for Labor Action for some of the reasons Contingent Faculty have unionized in the first place.
Says Full-Time IC Contingent Faculty Member, Megan Graham:
The 19th is especially important because the Ithaca College Board of Trustees will be in town, and is going to be enjoying a fancy cocktail hour and dinner in the Campus Center at that time. We want to make it clear to them how important this issue is on campus and how much support we have. The more people we have at this rally, the stronger that message will be.”
“We are holding this rally with faculty, students, staff, and community allies because the administration has been stonewalling us in bargaining – asking for long dialogues that take up multiple sessions and then coming back with no counter-proposals. Our proposals on the most important topics – wages, benefits, and length of appointments for faculty – went unanswered for months, after which they hastily drew up a proposal offering a 0.25% wage increase from what they’d offered before (1.75%, for a grand total of 2% – not even enough to make up for our lack of cost of living increases the last six years). Suffice it to say, we walked out of bargaining. Now we want to demonstrate our strength and the strength of the community behind us to force them to come to the table with real proposals.
1/3 of all faculty at IC are “part time”, yet their salaries account for just 1% of the college budget. IC Contingent Faculty are paid poverty wages, receive no health benefits, and must re-apply for their job every year. Many contingent faculty have trouble planning their lives and making ends meet.