Full-Time Lecturers at Tufts Vote to Unionize

Full-time, non-tenure-track lecturers and instructors at Tufts University voted on Thursday to form a union affiliated with the Service Employees International Union, The Boston Globe reported.

Part-time faculty members at Tufts unionized with the SEIU in September 2013 as part of the union’s campaign to organize adjuncts across the Boston metropolitan region. Thursday’s vote marks the first time the regional campaign has organized full-time faculty members who are off the tenure track.

Claire Schub, a French-literature lecturer who has taught at Tufts as a full-time, non-tenure-track professor for 22 years, helped lead the organizing effort. “We’re hoping to have job security, better pay, and more of a voice,” she told the Globe. “The union, because of collective bargaining, gives us a strong voice,” she said. “It also makes us more a part of the academic community, so the students benefit ultimately.”

Kimberly Thurler, a spokeswoman for Tufts, said in a written statement that the full-time lecturers “already have stable positions” and receive the same benefits as tenure-track faculty members. The university’s administration supported the lecturers’ right to vote and respects their decision, she said, adding: “We hope to work productively with the SEIU as the collective-bargaining process begins.”

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