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Adjunct Faculty At Two Colleges Vote To Unionize

Union organizing efforts by adjunct faculty at Champlain College and Burlington College came to a successful conclusion Monday.  A union vote at a third college will be announced next week.

The majority of adjunct faculty at the two colleges voted to join the Service Employees International Union, which has been organizing at colleges around the country. 

Naomi Winterfalcon, who helped organize the union effort at Champlain College, says the union "seemed like a pipe dream at the beginning of the semester."

Winterfalcon says the vote ends the marginalization of adjunct faculty.

“It’s not just income, it’s everything. It changes the quality of work at Champlain,completely,” she says.

Winterfalcon says some adjunct faculty expressed concerns for their jobs if they supported the union. Others opposed it, but of those who voted, 80 percent favored unionizing.  

A total of 219 adjunct faculty at Champlain College were eligible to vote, with 176 casting ballots; 118 favored unionizing; 28 votes were challenged by the union or the college and were not counted.

The union says the vote at Burlington College was 23 to 4 in favor of unionizing.

Results from a vote at St. Michael's College will be announced on Dec. 1.

In a news release, Champlain College President Donald Laackman pledged the college will do its part to work productively with the union.