Union, University agree on contract

Web Update
Saturday, Jan. 5, 12:25 p.m.

Part-time professors at GW will receive pay raises as high as 50 percent per course after eight years in a new collective bargaining agreement between adjunct faculty and the University.

“We have now established direct communications with the folks in Rice Hall,” said Kip Lornell, a music professor who served on the negotiating team.

Most of GW’s approximately 1,100 part-time professors will be paid between 10 and 50 percent more per course, Lornell said. The agreement also provides some measures of job security.

While the pay increases may be significant for individual professors, Lornell said part-time professor salaries will still represent less than 5 percent of the University budget while adjunct professors make up more than 60 percent of the faculty at GW.

“It’s peanuts, it’s bloody peanuts, still,” he said.

The University also agreed, under most circumstances, to guarantee part-time professors’ reappointment each semester. Previously, professors continuously reapplied for their jobs each semester and sometimes were dismissed without good reason, Lornell said.

“There are people who for utterly enigmatic reasons have not been rehired,” Lornell said.

Anne McLeer, director of research and strategic planning for the SEIU Local 500, said in addition to negotiating salary raises and increased job security, the union was able to set the stage for formal dialogue with Rice Hall.

“Something intangible that we’ve won is that there is now a dialogue,” she said.

The availability of healthcare benefits for part-time professors paid per course is one issue union members said they still hope to negotiate with the University. Lornell said the University plans to poll faculty on the need for such a benefit during the spring semester.

Tracy Schario, a GW spokesperson, said the University was pleased with the final agreement it made with the part-time professors union.

Schario added that being taught by an adjunct professor is a “priceless opportunity.”

“Our folks bring real world professional experience to our students,” she said.

While the University touts its dependence on part-time professors as a benefit to students at GW, Lornell said University President Steven Knapp’s goal of turning GW into a top research institution will be impossible without more full-time professors.

“How can you become a research University if you’re not going to hire the faculty to do it?” Lornell questioned.

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