Volume 73, Number 3 | May 19 - 25, 2004

Pace adjuncts vote to unionize

By Elizabeth O’brien

Pace University adjuncts prevailed in their attempts to unionize on Tuesday, voting 308 to 165 in favor of representation by the New York State United Teachers —American Federation of Teachers.

“I’m thrilled,” exulted Susan Brownmiller, noted feminist and part-time professor of fiction at Pace.

The unionization efforts began just last summer, with part-time faculty lobbying for increased wages, better job security and health and pension benefits. Well over half of Pace’s faculty consists of adjunct, or untenured, teaching staff.

“We want to again thank all the eligible adjunct faculty members and part-time instructors who participated in the election process,” said Yvonne Ramirez-Lesce, vice president for human resources at Pace, in a statement. “This was an important decision worthy of the broadest possible participation.

Adjuncts are unionizing all over the country, Brownmiller said. Locally, adjuncts at New York University, where Brownmiller teaches a course on travel writing, recently secured their first contract under the representation of the United Auto Workers.

Brownmiller cheered what she called the “resounding victory” of the Pace decision.

“It’s a lot of fun at a time when unions aren’t particularly strong,” Brownmiller said.


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