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Adjunct profs to unionize at College of Saint Rose

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— Adjunct professors at the College of Saint Rose in Albany plan to file for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board.

The adjunct instructors are set to announce their intent to form a union during a screening of a documentary film tonight starting at 7 p.m. at the Madison Theatre in Albany.

“Low pay, lack of benefits, lack of job security and many other issues adjuncts face are needless obstacles to success in our teaching and career development,” said Bradley Russell, an adjunct instructor of anthropology at Saint Rose.

The film zeros in on the issues of working as an adjunct professor including low wages and little job security. Saint Rose professors Megan Fulwiler and Jennifer Marlow produced the documentary.

Faculty members at Saint Rose are organizing to form a union with Adjunct Action, a project of Service Employees International Union. Last month adjunct professors at Marist College in Poughkeepsie also filed to form a union with Adjunct Action.

“By forming a union with SEIU/Adjunct Action, we will gain a voice on campus that not only enables us to improve our working conditions but ultimately and most importantly improves student outcomes,” Russell said.

Brian Cirmo, an adjunct instructor of art at Saint Rose, said after working 10 years as an adjunct he has not been provided with the opportunity to move up as a full-time instructor.

“This stagnate structure is wearing on the psyche and heart of contingent faculty, as well as simultaneously being a disservice to our students,” Cirmo said. “Ny hope is that forming a union with SEIU/Adjunct Action will provide dignity, respect and new professional opportunities.”

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