• SEIU Track Record in Higher Education

    Some adjunct faculty may feel if the service workers’ union (SEIU) is successful in the upcoming union election, the union may then achieve better wages, benefits, and working conditions for adjunct faculty.
    How likely is that? The service workers’ union has been trying to organize part-time faculty for about the past decade. We were only able to find two collective bargaining agreements the service workers’ union had negotiated with private colleges or universities – they were at George Washington University (GW) and American University (AU). And, the terms the service workers’ union negotiated at those universities do not include health benefits, provide a lower wage range than Hamline currently pays per course, and do not provide job security, or office space.

    Review the information below and view the contracts here to form your own opinion on whether the service workers’ union would help adjunct faculty to improve their wages, working conditions, or benefits.


    • Part-time faculty at GW and AU are paid on a per course basis at rates from $3,450-$4,030 per course. We currently pay $4,000-5,000 per course.  The pay range the union negotiated is less than what Hamline pays now.
    • The service workers’ union has negotiated only minimal increases to course rates over time at GW and AU, and those increases are not enough to cover union dues. Course rates have increased at GW by an average of less than 1.0% annually since January 2008.
    • Union dues for GW part-time faculty is 1.6% of their gross pay. That means an adjunct faculty member earning $4,000 per course and teaching four courses per year for a total of $16,000 would pay $256 to the service workers’ union.  
    • The collective bargaining agreement the service workers’ union negotiated for AU does not provide for any increases to course rates over the life of the agreement.

    Health Benefits

    • The service workers’ union did not negotiate health insurance on behalf of part-time faculty at GW or AU.

    Job Security

    • In collective bargaining agreements at both GW and AU, the service workers’ union agreed the universities can deny or cancel a part-time faculty member’s assignment or classes they teach for any number of reasons.

    Office Space

    • Neither the GW nor the AU agreement provides for office space for part-time faculty.
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