University of San Diego’s NTT Faculty in CAS Join SEIU 721!

Non-tenure track (NTT) faculty in the University of San Diego’s (USD) College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) voted overwhelmingly to join SEIU Local 721, according to ballots tallied Tuesday, June 18, by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The over 300 faculty members teach courses in various fields, including anthropology, architecture, biology, chemistry, communications, English, environmental studies, languages, history, music, sociology, theatre, psychology, theology, visual arts, and many more.

During their union drive, SEIU members supported USD’s NTT faculty in numerous ways, including writing letters of support, boosting the campaign on social media, and joining instructors at rallies and marches.

The win caps over two years of organizing, and follows recent votes to join SEIU Local 721 by NTT faculty at Loyola Marymount University and student workers at Occidental College. The USD instructors also join thousands of higher education workers who over the past decade have formed unions with SEIU locals across the country.

By joining our union, USD NTT faculty members in CAS seek better pay, improved job security, more support for professional development, and robust worker protections.

USD NTT faculty released statements following their win.

Deniz Perin-Coombs, an adjunct instructor in the English Department:

“Our union campaign was very much a grassroots movement. We worked for over two years to form the first union in USD history. I’m thrilled with the outcome, and also not surprised by it, given non-tenure track faculty’s clear need for union representation. Now we have the opportunity to negotiate our first contract to improve the working conditions of the many dedicated professors in the bargaining unit.”

Ted Falk, a lecturer in History:

“It was disappointing to witness the administration’s union-busting campaign over the past few months, while President Harris publicly claimed to be neutral on unionization. Faculty, students, and our campus community expect and demand better as we negotiate our first contract. USD holds itself out as a moral leader committed to changemaking, social justice, and Catholic social teaching. We call on administrators to live up to that image. President Harris and other leaders must respect our vote and come to the bargaining table in good faith without delay.”

Eric Cathcart of the Department of Environmental and Ocean Sciences:

“After 30 years of teaching at the college level, I feel like this victory is well overdue. Though we love our jobs, the administration should take notice: The recent surge in NTT union activities on college campuses signals that higher-ed workers are frustrated. We call on USD to negotiate with us so we can have more time to commit to teaching instead of working multiple jobs just to earn a living wage.”

Categories: Higher Education