Adjuncts' Pay and Benefits at 4 Boston-Area Colleges

April 14, 2014

Boston is at the center of a nationwide labor-organizing effort that seeks to unionize adjuncts through entire metropolitan areas to drive broad improvements in their pay, benefits, and working conditions. Here are the current working conditions of adjuncts at four of the Boston-area colleges where the Service Employees International Union has been actively working.

  Bentley U. Lesley U. Northeastern U. Tufts U.
Pay per course $5,000 at undergraduate level, $5,250 at graduate level About $3,000 $2,215 to $7,000, with most adjuncts earning in the range of $5,035 to $5,300 $5,115 for Romance languages, $6,000 for most other courses in social sciences and the humanities, $10,000 for economics and most hard sciences, $10,500 for chemistry
Health benefits Adjuncts are eligible but must pay the entire cost of the premium. None None Available for adjuncts who have two-semester appointments and teach at least three courses per year. They must pay 25 percent of the premium for individual coverage and 40 percent of the premium for family coverage.
Retirement benefits None None For adjuncts who have completed two years of service at 1,000 hours per year, Northeastern will contribute an amount equal to 10 percent of pay, provided the faculty member contributes at least 5 percent of pay. For adjuncts who teach at least three courses a year, Tufts contributes 5 percent of base pay for those under the age of 40 and 10 percent of base pay for those ages 40 and older.
Tuition benefits Available to adjuncts, not their families, and only for semesters in which they are teaching. Discount of 25 percent for one course, and 50 percent for two or more courses. None Adjuncts who have taught six terms are eligible to take one course per term, up to a maximum of three course hours, at no cost. They or their partners, but not both, can use the benefit. Children of adjuncts with at least 10 years of service are eligible for a 25-percent tuition discount while their parents are teaching. One course per semester for adjuncts and their partners; nothing for children.
Source: Service Employees International Union