Hundreds of Howard University Faculty Are Threatening To Go On Strike
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Howard University Faculty Threatening To Strike Over Working Conditions And Wages

Howard University HBCU
Howard University has received $2 million to digitize its Black press archives. (Image: Twitter/@treshot2)

Hundreds of faculty members at Howard University are threatening to go on strike next week due to unfair working conditions and low wages.

NPR reports Howard University faculty members, students, and alumni leaders rallied in support of the school’s faculty against low wages for non-tenured full-time teaching faculty and adjunct professors they say needs to change.

Faculty members say if an agreement is not reached by Friday, they plan to go on strike next week.

“The University leadership has made clear that a better teaching environment and better learning environment is unimportant to them,” said Contingent Faculty Leader and Howard alumnus Cyrus Hampton, a full-time professor in the English department. “They have left us no choice but to strike because of their continued bad-faith bargaining.”

Howard University has 150 non-tenured full-time teaching faculty and more than 200 adjunct professors represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). According to the SEIU, Howard faculty members have negotiated with the university for three years.

The university said in a statement that it “remained diligent” in its discussions with union representation and university officials to reach an agreement.

“Our commitment to a peaceful bargaining process has not changed, and we will continue advancing good faith efforts to reach an agreement with the union and address the needs of adjunct and non-tenure-track faculty and the University.”

In the statement, Howard University listed non-union faculty pay raises for more than 600 faculty members, an $80 million investment to fully fund the faculty retiree plan, and avoiding pandemic layoffs as continued efforts to support Howard faculty.

The potential faculty strike for Howard comes several months after students protested poor housing conditions by occupying the campus center and sleeping in tents.

The D.C. private research university received $140 million in philanthropic investments and pledges during the first six months of 2021 alone. In 2020, the University also received large donations, including $40 million from MacKenzie Scott and $5 million from Eddie and Sylvia Brown.