Alliance of Faculty Forward at Vanderbilt University

Why We Are Organizing

Non-Tenure Track Faculty play an important role in the success of Vanderbilt University and we deserve to have a say in how our campus runs. We have been trying to have our issues and concerns addressed by the administration, but unfortunately administrators have done everything they can to keep us from having a union voice. As Non-Tenure Track faculty at Vanderbilt University, we understand that our work and teaching is interwoven with our tenure track colleagues’ work. It is by working together that we can best fulfill the mission of the University.

Graduate Workers United stands for a democratic and transparent university that respects graduate student workers’ indispensable role in the institution and honors our right to an active voice in collectively determining our working conditions. We demand dental and vision coverage, full access to mental healthcare, freedom from abuses of power and sexual harassment on the part of mentors and supervisors, appropriate physical spaces reserved for us to work and collaborate across departments, and informed, prior consent in the event of changes to our working conditions.

We are calling on the College of Arts and Science administration, the dean and the provost to meet with elected leaders of the Alliance of Faculty Forward and Graduate Workers United at Vanderbilt University on a monthly basis to discuss mutual issues of concern. We also want to have a specifically designated voting seat for non-tenure track faculty with in the College of Arts and Sciences on the Faculty Senate.

Winning Change at Vanderbilt

Standing up for our union rights.  Over the past year we successfully won our case at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that recognizes our right to organize as a group of employees. The Vanderbilt administration filed an appeal and we won that case at the Regional NLRB level. Unfortunately, the administration continued the appeal even after our latest win.

Winning a voice on campus.  Thanks to the activity of organized union members in the Spring of 2018, Non-Tenure Track Faculty within the College of Arts and Sciences were finally given the opportunity to vote for faculty senate positions.

These victories are just the beginning of changing the workplace environment at Vanderbilt.

Our Story

Below is a timeline of our fight for change at Vanderbilt University:

See the full-size image here.

What We Do

How is joining the Alliance beneficial?

  • The Alliance aids us in communication so we can easily share information and knowledge that can lead to greater transparency
  • The Alliance helps us identify and track the best practices
  • The Alliance help us articulate our needs and concerns
  • The Alliance provides a mechanism that administration made under oath during hearings, to specifically listen to and act upon recommendations from staff
  • The Alliance assists with carrying out the mission of the University to have a welcoming and inclusive place of learning based on a shared governance model

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