We, the faculty at the University of Southern California have begun to take an important action
We, the faculty at the University of Southern California have begun to take an important action. We are coming together to raise standards for both our profession, and for the students of USC. We are calling on the administration of USC to respect our rights under Federal law as faculty – to come to an informed decision about our profession – without interference from the University, or its agents.
While tuition costs continue to soar, USC is skimping on expenses in the classroom by hiring an army of hyper-educated, contingent faculty, whom now make up the majority of the teaching staff at USC.
While faculty positions were once considered a secure middle-class profession – commensurate with the qualifications required to acquire such positions – that is no longer the case. USC has become increasingly reliant on contingent, non-tenure-track faculty – professors and lecturers hired into temporary positions offering low pay and no guarantee of continued employment. Many contingent faculty are not offered contracts at USC until just weeks before classes begin. Often times, we are also uncertain about whether or not we will return the following semester, until again, we are notified in the weeks leading up to the next session. This, of course, creates unnecessary limitations to what faculty are able to prepare and provide for students in the classroom.
As highly qualified educators, researchers, and practitioners, we take pride in our work, striving to contribute to our fields while delivering the best educational experience for USC students. However, that mission comes at a great price. Many faculty are compensated at levels that hover around the federal poverty standard, and are hardly able to make ends meet. For far too many of us, the choice to fulfill the promise and prestige of USC, is to choose a life of uncertainty. Unfortunately, this has become unsustainable for us, our students and our communities. This is why we are organizing.
Join us as we move forward. Show your support by signing the petition
I urge you to respect the rights of USC faculty under the National Labor Relations Act and honor the following principles for fostering a free and fair decision-making process:
1. Freedom to Choose. Acknowledge and affirm that faculty have the right to decide whether or not to form a union, free from the administration’s involvement and interference. The University and its agents shall remain neutral, and will support the decision made by the faculty.
2. Non-Retaliation. Ensure that faculty members can consider the issue of forming a union in safety – with no threats, retaliation, or consequences for advocating any position or participating in organizing.
3. Fairness. Avoid disparaging the union in both the university’s mass and direct communications, and refrain from the promotion of misleading or incomplete information in an effort to confuse or discourage faculty during their decision-making process.
4. Respect. Publicly commit to working with faculty and bargaining in good faith if they choose to form a union.
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|1||Jenaba Kamara||Aug 12, 2015|