Complaint Stems from Stalled Contract Negotiations
SEA/SEIU Local 1984 filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) on behalf of the college’s adjunct faculty, which the union represents. The complaint, filed Thursday with the state’s Public Employee Labor Relations Board, stems from stalled contract negotiations.
In the complaint, SEA/SEIU Local 1984 asserts that CCSNH has refused to “discuss or entertain certain mandatory subjects of bargaining” including hours of work and aspects of compensation. This includes proposals regarding conditions for the summer semester and compensation for work that falls outside of classroom lectures. Arthur Slotnick, chairman of the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 bargaining team, said this is unacceptable, especially given how highly CCSNH relies on adjunct faculty and how poorly these part-time professors are paid.
“Adjunct faculty at CCSNH are paid substantially less than our counterparts at Keene State and Plymouth State, and adjunct faculty at CCSNH greatly outnumber full-time faculty,” said chairman Slotnick, who teaches anatomy and physiology at Manchester Community College. “Our efforts are what allows the college system to work financially. Given that, we feel we at least deserve to be treated fairly and that’s not what has happened here.”
The adjunct faculty members began negotiations with CCSNH earlier this year on a successor agreement to their first contract, which expired on June 30. After months of effort, talks stalled when the administration refused to even discuss several subjects, and impasse was reached. Both sides agreed to the next step in the process — mediation — though the system ultimately didn’t uphold its end of the deal. The college scheduled a mediation session during work time, forcing a member of the adjunct bargaining team to choose between mediation and a work shift at the tutoring center. In addition to the issues noted above, the unfair labor practice complaint asks that the bargaining team member be compensated for those missed hours of work.
“We feel this constitutes a violation of the Public Employee Labor Relations Act, and frankly it violates common sense to nickel and dime an employee when CCSNH has already committed thousands of dollars to have its management team at mediation,” said Rich Gulla, President of SEA/SEIU Local 1984. “This entire process has been incredibly frustrating for our bargaining team, and we’re simply asking for CCSNH to give these hard-working professors the respect they deserve and negotiate fairly.”