Transforming Higher Education

Movement Milestones and Victories

We’re working to improve learning and teaching conditions and access to higher education, while standing up to end the trend toward a low-road, corporate-business model for education. More than 50,000 faculty and graduate workers are already united through SEIU Faculty Forward. Every day more educators, students and community members across the country are joining our fight to transform higher education. Here’s a look at what we’ve accomplished together so far.

Elon University adjuncts say YES to their union

Today, in a union election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, adjunct professors at Elon University in Alamance County, North Carolina voted to form their union with SEIU Workers United Southern Region. The faculty voted by a 2-1 margin to unionize.

At Elon, almost half of the faculty are non-tenure track, meaning they have little to no job security. Elon faculty’s campaign for a union is part of a growing union movement of academics in the South and across the country.

“The adjunct faculty at Elon University have spoken: we believe that our voices are the best way to articulate issues with, and solutions for, our working conditions and our students’ learning environment,” said Catherine Bush, an assistant professor of biology at Elon University. “We look forward to productive conversations with the administration to discuss improvements that will benefit our entire university.”

The Elon adjuncts are only the second group of private sector faculty in the South to win a union in the past 25 years, following in the footsteps of Duke faculty who won a landmark first contract in 2017. The faculty are the latest campus workers to join SEIU Workers United Southern Region, whose membership now includes more than 1,000 members working in higher education across the South.