The State Employees’ Association announced Monday that adjunct faculty members at Plymouth State University have voted to form a bargaining unit affiliated with the association. The N.H. Public Employee Labor Relations Board reported to vote in favor of the union as 60 to 43.
The vote allows the S.E.A. to represent adjunct (part-time, temporary) faculty members in matters that affect their wages, benefits and job security.
Some adjunct faculty members have complained they are significantly underpaid when compared to teachers working at other colleges and universities — in particular, Keene State College, where adjunct faculty members are already unionized.
In a statement released to media, the S.E.A. reported: “The adjuncts represent approximately 65-percent of the overall faculty at PSU. Adjunct faculty members do not enjoy the same compensation, benefits, and protections as full time faculty, even if they are teaching a full course load. In fact, most of the PSU adjuncts are currently living at or below the poverty line. At one time, they out-earned their peers at Keene State College. However, since the adjuncts at Keene State organized in 1993, they now earn up to $500 more per credit than adjuncts at Plymouth State. Adjunct faculty had little job security because they work based on employment contracts that last only 16 weeks. Adjunct faculty members also had very little access to professional development, and have not received retirement or health benefits.”