PSU adjuncts ratify first union contract

PLYMOUTH — Two years after voting to form a collective bargaining unit the adjunct faculty members of Plymouth State University yesterday ratified their first contract by a vote of 97-percent of the union membership.

The three-year agreement is said to provide job stability, annual wage increases, access to health benefits and intellectual property rights. In a prepared statement, Krisan Evenson, the president of the Teaching Lecturers Chapter who teaches political science, said that "before we unionized, I was unable to see a career track, let alone our place at the university." Prior to negotiating a contract adjunct faculty were employees at will without access to health insurance or other benefits.

The adjunct faculty affiliated with the State Employees' Association of New Hampshire, SEIU Local 1984 in December 2011. Diana Lacey, president of the SEA/SEIU1984, said that "the path to obtain the rights necessary for empowered workers to level the playing field as equally valuable partners in the workplace, including higher education, can be a long one that takes real commitment."