Katies for SCU Adjuncts -- Support non-tenure track faculty in forming a union.
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In recent months adjunct professors at St. Catherine University have banded together in hopes of forming a union. Unfortunately, the administration at SCU has made it clear that they stand vehemently against this move. As Katies, we were taught to challenge barriers, have compassion for others, maintain ethical standards, and use our voices to resist the exploitation and oppression of women. The stance the administration has chosen to take goes directly against these principles.
This petition will be presented to various members of the administration at SCU to demonstrate that alumnae are watching and we do not support their decision to fight against the adjuncts who work tirelessly to provide their students a top-notch liberal education.
This stance directly impacts students. The conditions in which adjuncts work are the same conditions their students learn in. If an instructor falls ill and is unable to go to the doctor because they have lackluster medical insurance they are forced to decide whether to cancel class or go to work sick. When instructors do not have basic amenities like private offices, they cannot serve their students properly. The quality of the education students receive should not suffer because contracts for adjunct faculty offer them so few options and support.
Obviously, this issue impacts adjunct faculty directly. Their lives are often filled with uncertainty because they are not guaranteed work. Having set, longer-term contracts would allow them more security. They are also paid very little. Currently, adjuncts make $5,000 per class -- an increase from $4,000 per class when administration discovered that the attempt to unionize was underway. This means that even if an adjunct professor teaches the same number of courses as a full-time, tenured faculty member they can still only expect to make the same amount of money per year that a recent college graduate makes. This is atrocious considering that all adjunct faculty members hold advanced degrees.
SCU is currently in the midst of a multi-million dollar deficit, which we understand has a direct impact on what they can pay employees. However, we do not understand why members of the St. Kate's administration have not chosen to take pay cuts to help alleviate this crisis. This administration is only proving its own greed by continuing to collect six-figure paychecks at the cost of its adjuncts livelihoods. This is not in-line with the school's mission. We also question your decision to hire anti-union attorney Paul Zahn to represent you during this time. Students and alumnae want their money to go toward the necessary upkeep of the school, salaries for its employees, and furthering SCU's mission, not to pricey lawyers who will help you silence the voices of esteemed non-tenured professors.
We are proud alumnae and we want to see our alma matter prosper, but we do not feel that prosperity should come at the cost of the continued exploitation of a class of educators who simply want to continue the mission of our beloved school. We ask that you re-examine the school's mission and urge you to reconsider your stance on this matter.
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