Northeastern Avoids Strike, Reaches Deal with Part-Time Faculty

The university's lowest-paid faculty will receive a double-digit raise.

Photo by Alex Lau

Photo by Alex Lau

Northeastern University has avoided a potential walk-out, announcing a tentative deal with its part-time faculty Thursday.

Collective bargaining talks between the school and the Service Employee International Union Local 509 culminated in a three-year contract, likely preventing a strike proposed for next week.

“We believe this is a fair and equitable agreement that corresponds closely to the offer I detailed for you last Friday,” Provost James C. Bean said in a letter to the Northeastern community. “In terms of compensation, the university has offered competitive salary increases for part-time faculty. We believe these increases are in keeping with the market for faculty talent and consistent with the university’s overall compensation strategy.”

As part of the deal, qualifying members of Northeastern’s part-time faculty will have access to its health care plans, as well as other benefits, including “increased professional development opportunities,” discounted access to the Cabot pool, and on-campus parking. Adjuncts will be compensated for courses cancelled on short notice before a semester begins.

“Today, we add our voices to the chorus of faculty who have organized to improve higher education across the country,” said Haley Malm, a member of SEIU 509’s bargaining team, in a release. “As one of the lowest-paid adjuncts on campus, this contract will result in a double-digit raise. Negotiations are always tough, but I think that’s a clear win.”

Bean said the union agreed to terms only once Northeastern made clear that next week’s proposed walk-out would not affect the university’s final offer, and called the salary increases “competitive.”

“So many members of the Northeastern community came together in this effort to bring the focus of our university back to the classroom,” Northeastern student Nora Callahan said. “As a student, I’m excited that my professors have finally won the respect they deserve and the working conditions they need to deliver a top-notch education.”