Featured SEA Member: Meet Janice Dunnington

A few weeks ago, we began several new features in the SEA News: one profiling the union’s committees and the other profiling Chapter 1 members. This week, we continue rolling out new features with a feature on an active (as in, not retired) SEA member.

Our first profile is on a member who belongs to one of the SEA’s newest units: the CCSNH adjunct faculty. So, without further ado, we introduce Janice Dunnington, an adjunct professor of mathematics at NHTI.

Question: How long have you worked for the college? How did you end up working there?

Answer: I’ve been teaching for the Community College System of NH for five years. I’ve been at NHTI these last four. My husband taught here before me, and I remember him saying how much I would like the caliber of students, meaning, well-mannered. So I applied, and now I believe he was right. The students here are great!

Q: What do you do for work?

A: I’m adjunct faculty in the Department of Mathematics.

Q: What’s the most meaningful part of your job?

A: The best part of this job is taking personal interest in those students who really are putting in the effort, but who are still struggling. I especially enjoy helping those students and will put in the personal time to help a student understand the material. The real reward for me comes from their gratitude just knowing that I truly want to help them succeed. That is how I view my job and I share that with all my students.

Q: What do you do when you’re not working?

A: I have many interests. In addition to being an avid reader, I also practice meditation and yoga.  And when a project appeals to me, I enjoy knitting and sewing. When the weather warms up, I spend time outside in my garden. I enjoy staying active. And I can’t forget cooking – I love to cook!

Q: How did you get involved in the SEA?

A: Once again, I followed my husband’s lead. We’ve discussed various issues with being adjunct faculty, and it just felt right. Why wouldn’t a person want to advocate for him or herself?

Q: Why is it important to be a union member?

A: Going back to my last statement, a person might not want to advocate for himself because, as an individual, challenging the administration might result in a person not getting continued employment. For adjuncts, that is a very real concern. As a union member, there is definitely strength in numbers. And I could have never negotiated a salary raise for myself, standing alone.   More importantly, being a dues-paying member is simply the right thing to do – for me to pay the 1.25% union dues after receiving a 6% raise. Morally, it’s the right thing to do.  And I’m still making 4.75% more than before.

There are other issues being negotiated right now. And I’m glad to see that when I’m gone, this will be a better work environment for future employees because of the SEA, and my contribution to it.

If you’d like to be profiled here, or have a suggestion of who we should profile, send an email to atoland@seiu1984.org.

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