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Ithaca College adjuncts say 'yes' to union

Solvejg Wastvedt
WRVO News (file photo)

Part-time faculty at Ithaca College voted to unionize on Thursday after a four-month effort. Union “yes” votes prevailed by a margin of 119.

“I’m feeling pretty good about that,” says Ithaca College adjunct lecturer Rachel Kaufman. She helped organize the effort.

“A lot of people really want this union,” she says. “It’s something we had a strong sense of before, but it’s great to have it confirmed. I’m really looking forward to negotiations and making things better.”

Kaufman says the group hasn’t settled on a list of priorities yet. If there are no legal challenges to the vote, they'll join the Service Employees International Union. Contract negotiations could address pay, working conditions and other issues.

Ithaca College President Thomas Rochon said in a statement that he hopes the parties will reach a contract amicably.

According to the National Labor Relations Board, about 70 percent of eligible part-time faculty voted.

Solvejg Wastvedt grew up in western Pennsylvania and graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Over the summer, she served in Los Angeles as an intern on NPR's National Desk. Plus, before coming to Upstate New York, Solvejg worked at the Minneapolis community radio station KFAI. When she isn't reporting the news, Solvejg enjoys running and exploring hiking trails.