February 8, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 40°F


Part-time faculty union begins bargaining with administration

The Ithaca College part-time faculty bargaining committee and the administration discussed the committee’s goals at their first bargaining session Oct. 20.  

Rachel Kaufman, a member of the bargaining committee, said the first priority goal is fair compensation for the work that part-time professors do.

“We want equal pay for equal work,” Kaufman said.

Kaufman said the proposal also asks that part-time professors have benefits; more job security; fair and transparent pathways to full-time employment; appropriate office space; fair, effective and transparent evaluation processes; a greater voice and inclusion at the college; and an expansion of professional development.

Kaufman said these particular topics stemmed from a survey issued to all part-time faculty members to evaluate their concerns.   

Nancy Pringle, senior vice president and general counsel in Legal Affairs, said the college will continue to bargain in good faith with the union. She said the college is preparing to bring a counterproposal back to the table. She could not comment on whether the college will plan to meet the union’s desires.

“Both parties will work toward a resolution that is favorable for both sides,” Pringle said.

Sarah Grunberg, also a member of the bargaining committee, said the union is important because it gives part-time faculty a voice.

“This union is so important because it allows us to look at our contracts and express concerns that we’ve had for many years,” Grunberg said.

She said colleges are hiring more faculty who are part-time and who won’t be considered for tenure, which she called a crisis. She said this is happening as colleges shift to a more corporate model, trying to save as much money as possible.

“This is important not for just the Ithaca College level, but the national level,” Grunberg said.

Kaufman said this union gives faculty more rights in speaking with the administration.

“Individually, [faculty] felt scared to talk to the administration because they’ll lose their jobs,” Kaufman said.

The next meeting will be held Nov. 6, where Kaufman said she expects the college’s bargaining committee will bring a counterproposal to the table.

Grace Elletson can be reached at gelletson@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @graceelletson