FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 5, 2018
Following a year of university administration opposition
University of South Florida Adjunct Faculty Win Opportunity to Hold Union Election
Public Employee Relations Commission to hold election February 16 – March 13
FLORIDA – After nearly a year of delay tactics and opposition from administrators, a group of around 900 adjunct professors at the University of South Florida (USF) have won the right to vote to form their union. Last week, the Public Employee Relations Commission handed USF President Judy Genshaft another defeat in the administration’s efforts to stall the union election, reaffirming the adjuncts’ right to vote and collectively bargain.
“When we come together and keep fighting, we win,” said Tara Blackwell, a USF adjunct professor. “The administration took every opportunity to delay our right to vote, but we kept speaking out for our rights and let them know we wouldn’t be silenced.”
The victory comes after a series of petitions, protests, meeting visits, media reports and the release of a Faculty Forward report documenting the poverty experienced by faculty across Florida and at USF.
USF faculty will become the third group of adjuncts to hold a union election in Florida in the last year and a half. In December, Broward College voted overwhelmingly in favor of forming a union. At 1,700 potential members, it is the largest SEIU faculty unit to date. In late 2016, Hillsborough Community College sparked the movement when adjuncts voted for union representation for around 1,000 professors.
“We’re standing together to transform higher education in Florida,” said Mark Lane-Holbert, an adjunct professor at USF. “We’re starting on our own campuses and taking this fight to Tallahassee to win the funding we deserve for all faculty so that our students can get the education they deserve.”
The election will be administered by the Public Employee Relations Commission and will run from February 16 to March 13.
Faculty Forward is a project of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), home to nearly 50,000 unionized college and university faculty who have won improvements in pay, job security, evaluation processes, and access to benefits. For more information, visit seiufacultyforward.org.
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