UNH lecturers seek to unionize
University of New Hampshire lecturers, from left, Cynthia Pulkkinen, Sarah Hirsch, Emilie Talpin, Adam St. Jean and Nancy Sell display union cards in front of Thompson Hall on the Durham campus. COURTESY
The full-time contract lecturers want to form a union as a chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and have organized as a group known as the University of New Hampshire Lecturers United AAUP.
If the PELRB reviews the petition and determines there is enough support, lecturers would hold a secret-ballot election early next year to vote on whether to form the union.
Lecturers aren't paid as much as professors, aren't eligible for tenure and can't join the professors union."We lack a transparent process of evaluation, a standardized process for contract renewals, and fair and transparent grievance policies," said Sarah Hirsch, a lecturer of Spanish.
University provost Lisa MacFarlane argues a lecturers union isn't needed.
"We believe that UNH has made many gains that benefit lecturers through direct communication and that the involvement of a union or collective bargaining is not necessary," she said in a statement.
"Transparent, consistent contracts would greatly improve the sense of job security for lecturers and would enhance our ability to teach with excellence. As more lecturers serve UNH, it only makes sense to provide that security," said Adam St. Jean, lecturer in chemical engineering.
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