Back to School, Back in Action

Dear colleagues,

My name is Kim Tso, and I’m an adjunct instructor in the Sol Price School of Public Policy.

Fall semester is in full swing, and we’re working harder than ever to build a strong faculty union at USC. I’m writing to you today with exciting news and important updates:

USC Faculty Survey
We, contingent, non tenure-track faculty, teach the majority of classes at USC. Every day we go the extra mile, often putting in long hours to prepare classes or mentor students. Despite our dedication, many of us are forced to reapply for our jobs at the end of each semester or academic year, often for courses we have taught many times already. As faculty, we are committed to USC and feel proud to work at this institution. But we think it is time for USC to commit to us.

Together, we can make our voices heard when it comes to academic priorities and working conditions. Please take a minute to fill out our survey here.

Back to School, Back in Action
We’re back to school, and students and faculty have been on campus every week talking to colleagues and students about faculty working conditions and the corporatization of higher education at USC. Students have been circulating a petition in support of our organizing efforts, and have been taking action to show support for faculty:

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We’ll continue our on-campus action in the coming weeks. To get involved please email organizer Liz Espinoza at Liz.Espinoza@seiu721.org

Department of Labor Considering Overtime Rules for Faculty
According to an SEIU report, faculty all over the country are working overtime without any compensation for their extra labor. That’s because teachers, including faculty, are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act. It means that faculty don’t have the protection of minimum salary requirements and overtime rules. Having to worry about finances and uncertain futures means distracted professors and ultimately, students lose out on a quality education.

Don’t wait, send your letter right now to the Department of Labor and urge it to ensure that contingent faculty enjoy the protections of the FLSA.

We’re fired up, and we’re ready to keep fighting for a strong union for faculty. Here’s what you can do now to make our union a reality:

Have you signed an authorization card? If you support forming a union with us here at USC, please sign a union authorization card this week. Please contact Liz Espinoza at Liz.Espinoza@seiu721.org for more information.

Have you signed our Dear Colleagues letter? This public show of support is crucial to building a union here at USC. We can demand real improvements for ourselves, and our students, but only if we step up together. If you haven’t already, please add your name here.

As we enter our fall semester, I’m looking forward to new victories and new challenges. More than ever, I’m convinced we can make real improvements for faculty and the students we teach.

-Kim

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