The Plymouth State University Teaching Lecturers, one of the SEA’s newest chapters, signed its first contract earlier this year, and member Philip Inwood was a part of the team that helped negotiate that deal. He agreed to tell us more about himself in this month’s Featured SEA member spotlight.
Question: How long have you worked for the college? What do you do for work?
Answer: I’ve worked at PSU as an adjunct professor of Art History for over 6 years.
Q: What’s the most meaningful part of your job?
A: Of course, the most meaningful part of my job is to encourage the students to be excited by their time at college and to make the most of the opportunity to learn and grow. I find that my interaction with the students is a valuable component for me, as it inspires me to grow and engage with the dynamics of the changing culture.
Q: What do you do when you’re not working?
A: When I’m not working at PSU, I am drawing and painting and looking after my three young children. I also am engaged in working as a part-time organizer for the SEA, to encourage membership among the Teaching Lecturers (formerly Adjuncts) at PSU and beyond.
Q: How did you get involved in the SEA?
A: I became involved with the SEA when some of my colleagues started to organize the adjuncts towards some kind of collective unit. The SEA was the most responsive and positive organization to deal with early on and, I have to acknowledge, has remained so throughout the process of gaining a first contract and beyond. I quickly became an active member and I am intent on building on the success that we have so far achieved. We have a long way to go, but I am confident that we will build a strong union at PSU that will improve our employment conditions and benefit the university as a whole. In particular, I believe that the students deserve a continuity and commitment that can best be achieved through encouraging the fair and equitable treatment of the teaching lecturers, who are the backbone of this university and constitute a faculty majority.
Q: Why is it important to you to be a union member?
A: Being a union member is crucial for the fight to improve conditions at PSU. Strength through numbers – collective bargaining – has enabled our voices to be heard and considered. We are the union and the union makes us stronger – it is a remarkable feeling to have a place at the table instead of scrambling for crumbs!