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SEIU Uses Organizing Strategy Developed in DC To Organize Boston’s PTers

by Mariah Quinn

“We said yes.”

That was the consensus of a group of over 100 adjunct professors after a day of panels and discussions about organizing contingent faculty in the Boston metro area to raise standards for their profession. The event was held at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston on Saturday, and served as the public kickoff for the Adjunct Action campaign to unionize contingent faculty across the Boston metro area.

The day, a mixture of presentations and free-flowing discussions, started with a panel entitled “Adjunctified: The Casual Academic Workforce.” Professor Gary Rhodes talked about the “ferment and hunger for representation and voice” amongst adjunct faculty, whom he described as “isolated, attenuated, and alienated.”

“Recognize these?” wrote one adjunct who tweeted Rhodes’ comments, as Rhodes told the story of one adjunct who said he “carried my office to work in a briefcase every day.”

During the same panel Maria Maisto, an adjunct professor and a founder of the New Faculty Majority, an organization that works to advance professional equity for contingent faculty, argued that student learning outcomes are inextricably linked to the conditions their professors work under. “Faculty working conditions are student learning conditions,” she said. If

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