Adjunct faculty members at Northeastern University have voted to unionize.
The vote, counted earlier today, sets the stage for part-time faculty members to negotiate a contract with the university.
Northeastern represents the third school in the area whose adjunct professors have voted to join the Service Employees International Union’s Adjunct Action movement, following similar votes from the adjunct staffs at Tufts University last fall and Lesley University over the winter. Northeastern’s adjunct faculty is the largest of the three.
Nationally, adjunct professors earn on average less than $3,000 per three-credit course according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, and generally do not receive benefits from colleges or universities.
Critics of how universities treat adjunct labor also say it comes at the cost of students, as instructors overload on courses, sometimes at multiple universities, ultimately depleting their bandwidth and hurting the quality of their classes.
Boston University’s adjunct staff is in the process of organizing in hopes of unionizing, that school’s Daily Free Press has reported.