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Contract Faculty Union Says Members Are “Free to Negotiate Individually for Better Terms”

by Max Moran

As the newly formed adjunct and contract-faculty union prepares for its fourth bargaining round with Brandeis University this month, officials on both sides say the negotiations thus far have been a positive experience. But the University has frozen wages and benefits for bargaining unit professors until a contract is reached, and the faculty union is publicizing part of their agenda online.

Currently, there are plans for five total negotiation meetings throughout the semester, following up on the three that have already taken place. Adjunct and contract faculty — who as a unit are called “contingent faculty” — organized a bargaining unit and joined the Service Employees International Union Local 509 last December.

In a Google Slides presentation shown at the first round of negotiations in May, Brandeis Faculty Forward — one of the organizing wings of the contingent faculty union — called for greater job security, intellectual property rights over their contributions to curriculum development, respect for their Union and a transparent evaluation system for gaining job security and promotions, among other topics.

Prof. Nina Kammerer (Heller), a union member, told the Justice in a phone interview that the negotiations thus far have been “cordial and open”

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