By a 3-to-1 margin, adjunct faculty at Nazareth College have voted to organize, joining Local 200United.
Organizer for the union, Jake Allen, says this is a significant day for higher education in Rochester.
"This is the first private college in Rochester where adjuncts have formed a union, and is one of the first unions formed in Rochester in like, several years," he said.
Out of 370 eligible voters, the vote was 184 in favor and 61 against.
Allen says this should mean better pay and possible benefits for the hundreds of part-time faculty members at the school.
He points to Ithaca College where union adjuncts received a $1 thousand dollar per course increase as a result.
"An adjunct's teaching environment is a student's learning environment, and making improvements for adjuncts means also making improvements for students," he said.
He says those improvements will be determined at the bargaining table.
Nazareth College issued this statement from President Daan Braveman in response:
This week, the National Labor Relations Board counted the ballots at its office in Buffalo, NY, to determine the outcome of the election in which Nazareth College part-time faculty members decided whether or not to be represented by a union.
The majority of those part-time faculty members who mailed in a ballot voted to be represented by the Service Employees International Union. We respect their decision.
Nazareth values the contributions of our part-time faculty. These talented academics and practitioners are part of the fabric of our institution and integral to fulfilling Nazareth’s educational mission. We are committed to providing a rewarding and positive work environment for our part-time faculty, along with all of our faculty and staff. Nazareth remains committed to preserving our positive and collaborative culture in service to our students and community.