Adjunct faculty at Seminole State College of Florida voted to form their union with SEIU Faculty Forward. With this breakthrough, Seminole State faculty join their colleagues at Hillsborough Community College, Broward College, and University of South Florida who have already formed their unions with SEIU Faculty Forward in Florida. Adjunct faculty at Valencia College and Miami Dade College have also filed to form their union as faculty across Florida organize for change on their campuses and across Florida’s higher education system.
“Winning our union is an important step for us to be able to advocate for our students and for the resources that we desperately need in order to improve the quality of education we can provide,” said Nancy DeLong, an adjunct professor of English at Seminole State College. “As an adjunct professor for 15 years, I know the impact that budget cuts have had on our educational system in Florida. We are an important part of an educational system that is short-changing educators and students alike.”
Florida invests the least out of all 50 states in public services, and higher education has borne a huge portion of disinvestment. Over the last decade, Florida elected officials have slashed funding for higher education, while tuition has increased by 62 percent in that same timeframe.
Like K-12 teachers across the country, adjunct faculty have joined together to call for greater investment in the state’s higher education system. In addition to better wages, job security and access to quality education for all Floridians, adjunct faculty are talking to Florida voters about the upcoming midterm elections and advocating for candidates that support fully-funded free college, student debt forgiveness and a minimum of $15 an hour minimum wage.
“We are less than a month away from the midterm elections that are of great significance for the future of higher education in Florida,” said Carol Miller, an adjunct professor of Social Sciences at Seminole State College. “Winning our union for Seminole State College adjuncts is the first step towards ensuring we have a voice on our campus and then go to Tallahassee to advocate for our students, our profession, and the future of higher education in Florida.”
While faculty at Seminole State College celebrate their victory, faculty at Valencia College and Miami Dade College continue to wait on their respective administrations to agree to an election where they will vote on whether to join together for a unified voice.