In landmark union election, Occidental College faculty vote to join SEIU Local 721

Over 100 non-tenure track faculty at Occidental College voted to join SEIU Local 721. Tuesday’s landmark yes vote comes after a months-long organizing drive that saw scores of faculty and students working together to raise standards and improve working conditions for faculty at the nationally renowned liberal arts college.

“We’re heartened by the strong showing of support in today’s vote by Occidental’s faculty,” said Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Brian Clearwater. “This puts us in a solid position to obtain a contract that reflects the excellent teaching and service that Occidental’s non-tenure track faculty do.”

Occidental College faculty are the latest in the growing, nationwide movement of faculty and graduate students taking action to address the crisis of corporatization in higher education. Their victory marks the fifth successful Los Angeles election through SEIU’s Faculty Forward initiative.

“My Occidental colleagues are an inspiration,” said Desiree Zamorano, a non-tenure track professor of education. “May we together inspire faculty and graduate students organizing at other campuses across the country.”