Adjunct professors vote to unionize at St. Petersburg College

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On Tuesday, adjunct faculty at St. Petersburg College voted to unionize. They’ll be with SEIU FPSU Faculty Forward.

WMNF interviewed Angela Edwards-Luckett, an adjunct professor of world religions at St. Petersburg College.

Professor Edwards-Luckett says that adjunct faculty earn only a fraction of the wages of full-time professors.

“I voted to unionize because I recognize that my colleagues and I — many of us work jobs at several different colleges in order to make ends meet. Some of us have had to resort to going on public assistance to take care of our family. Like me, many have the Affordable Care Act for our health insurance. And there’s just a lot of disparity and lack due to our pay and things like that.”

What is the pay and the workload for an adjunct professor?

“The base pay for an adjunct professor is — I want to say it’s like $2,300-and-some for one three-credit course a semester. We do, unlike other colleges, get extra pay if we have a Master’s plus an extra thirty credts or if we have a Ph.D. But we’re limited to only teaching four classes per semester, which really sometimes puts us in a financial bind. And even if we do teach those four classes a semester that’s still only like 16-17 thousand dollars a year.”