ACTION ALERT: Frustration Mounting, IC Contingent Faculty Authorize Strike / Community Support Needed Urgently

[Photo: Sam Fuller/ The Ithacan] Ithaca College (IC) contingent faculty voted in overwhelming numbers (88% approving) this week to authorize their union, the IC Contingent Faculty Union/Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 200United Bargaining Committee, to call for any action up to a strike.

The vote shows how frustrated contingent faculty are after 18 months of bargaining without a reasonable response from management to their two key issues – a pay increase for part-timers and job security for full-time lecturers.

Even a Federal labor mediator has failed to dent management’s disrespect for the needs of these dedicated professionals.

Photo: Sam Fuller/ The Ithacan

Community support is needed URGENTLY.

We’ve protested, signed letters and petitions, and have been heartened to see the numerous academic departments at IC vote to support a strike should it occur by promising to not hire replacements and to not fill their classes. But more community help is needed.

Please call IC administrators and the Trustee Chairperson listed below

This is especially important if you are an IC alum, a student or an IC parent, but all concerned community members need to be heard from. A script you can use is also below in your own words.

Name IC Administrative or Board Title Work Phone
Nancy Pringle Senior VP and General Counsel (607) 274-3836
Linda Petrosino Provost and Vice President for Educational Affairs (607) 274-7918
Tom Grape Chair of the IC Board of Trustees (781) 489-7100
Janet Williams Interim VP of Finance and Admin. (607) 274-3118
Christopher Biehn VP Institutional Advancement (607) 274-3115

Phone Script to Call Administration

(Name of administrator)–In your own words:

My name is ____________, and I am (an alum of Ithaca College/a parent of an IC student/a community member) calling in support of contingent faculty in their present union negotiations with the administration of Ithaca College. I am concerned to learn that:

  • the $57,251 paid annually for student tuition at Ithaca College is not being used to pay reasonable salaries and provide benefits to the contingent professors of student’s classes;
  • as a direct result of Ithaca College’s practice of employing low salary adjuncts to teach critical courses, many of professors are forced to work other jobs, being less available to help and guide students here on campus;
  • due to the “disposable” nature of their short-term contracts, many are not able to invest in building or advancing the curriculum in their respective fields.
  • in sum, the exploitation of these professors’ labor negatively impacts the quality of education at IC.

I am concerned to learn that part-time and full-time contingent faculty may soon be forced to strike in order to secure fair pay and contracts for the valuable work that they do at Ithaca College. It is unacceptable that the College would force professors into this position rather than providing them with fair pay, benefits, and job security. In light of this, I urge that you act on behalf of our community and take action to realize the demands of negotiating faculty members.

Optional additional scripts:

Alumni: As an Ithaca College alum, I am disappointed to hear that the college I have always been proud of is behaving so cruelly and damaging its reputation in the media. The longer you treat your faculty this way, denying them fair wages and job stability, the more damage you do to the credentials I have already earned. Do not drag the reputation of Ithaca College through the mud. I will not respond to any requests for donations until there is equal pay for equal work and job stability for all faculty at IC.

Family of IC students: As a parent/family member of an IC student, I am deeply disappointed in the administration’s recent behavior. We have invested significantly in this institution and we expect that money to be put into the classroom where it belongs. You will continue to hear from me until there is equal pay for equal work and job stability for all faculty at IC.

Community members: As a resident of [your town/area], I am disturbed by the precedent set by Ithaca College. Your actions are setting a terrible example for other employers in our region and encouraging unfair treatment of workers everywhere. You have the opportunity to make Ithaca College a local leader in education and fair treatment of employees. Your faculty deserve equal pay for equal work, job stability, and respect.