In a landmark victory for non-tenured faculty across the nation, hundreds of Duke University full and part-time non-tenure-track faculty have overwhelmingly voted to join SEIU and contingent faculty across the country in a union movement. The faculty voted 174 to 29 in favor of a union, a majority of all 297 eligible voters.
The victory marks the first faculty union election at a private university in the South in decades. The effort started last year when faculty formed Duke Teaching First to bring awareness about contingent faculty working conditions on campus. They will join over 10,000 college instructors who have joined SEIU in the past three years. Duke non-tenure track faculty join their colleagues at the University of Chicago as the second victory in four months at a school ranked in the top 10 of U.S. News Ranking of national universities.
The win reflects an 85 percent vote in favor of forming a union – a momentous victory for non-tenure-track faculty, and the entire Duke community.
“This historic win makes official what has been going on over the past year on Duke's campus: that is, faculty have been finding each other, sharing our experiences with each other, and perhaps most importantly, sharing our ideas for how to improve the conditions of non-tenure-track faculty at Duke,” said MJ Sharp, an instructor at the Center for Documentary Studies. “With our union, we will now be empowered to help bring those ideas to fruition to the betterment of teaching, learning, and research conditions at Duke. "