After more than two years, the adjunct professors at CCSNH have earned their first contract.
The deal became official after it was ratified and signed by the CCSNH Board of Trustees and representatives of the SEA. The deal was approved by all adjunct faculty members — a remarkable 100 percent approval rate. The contract includes an 11 percent raise across two years, and provides for advance notice of employment for each semester and important contractual clauses such as grievance procedures and binding arbitration.
The adjunct faculty originally formed a union with the SEA in early 2011, and negotiations began in October of that year. The two sides ultimately reached the tentative agreement in July, and faculty approved the contract via a mail-in ballot. Diane Andreas, who teaches business communications at River Valley Community College, was happy to see the organizing efforts come to fruition.
“I think it’s about time that we had a contract that is backed by a strong adjunct faculty and a strong union,” Andreas said. “I was pleased with the results.”
Members such as Marion Knedler of Manchester Community College and Mark Evans of White Mountains Community College were pleased with the benefits in the contract, particularly the wage increase.
“That’s been a long time coming,” said Knedler, who until her retirement in 2009 served as the college’s director of academic planning and support and was an SEA member. “I don’t even remember when the last increase we had was, and I’ve been an adjunct since 1990 or ’91.”
Evans thought the wage increase was the most striking part of the new contract.
“We had been frozen in place for so long, and there was no reason to think that was going to change,” said Evans, who teaches in the massage therapy program. “With this contract, I wasn’t expecting such a significant raise.”
Andreas pointed out that the wage increase, while very welcome, is still a small step forward, given what adjunct professors are paid — roughly $2,000 per class.
“It’s incremental, but it is important and we need to have a strong group that realizes it’s important to have small steps at the beginning,” Andreas said.
Knedler said a big positive in the contract is the inclusion of grievance procedures and binding arbitration.
“If you have issues, the union represents you,” she said. “I know having been on both sides, it’s very intimidating for employees to have to face their supervisors. It’s beneficial to have a union representative come in and speak for you.”
Evans said he thought the contract overall was a good collaborative effort between both sides.
“It looks like an excellent foundation to build on,” Evans said. “I’m pleased that all parties were able to come to agreement on it.”
Congratulations to the bargaining team and all of the CCSNH adjunct professors on the new contract.