Mills College Staff, Adjunct Faculty Ratify Precedent-Setting Contract with Northeastern University Following Destabilizing Merger
The hard-fought deal raises the floor for the college’s lowest-paid workers and provides important protections and improvements for adjunct faculty
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Staff at Mills College at Northeastern unanimously ratify first contract
Mills adjunct faculty also unanimously ratify new contract with Northeastern
Over two and a half years after voting by 95% to form their union with SEIU 1021, Mills College staff have voted unanimously to ratify their first union contract. In line with their priorities in negotiations, the agreement will provide meaningful improvements for the lowest-paid employees, including bumping the part-time minimum wage from $15 to $17 an hour and establishing a minimum wage of $23.15 an hour for full-time employees — for whom there has not been a minimum wage up until now.
Mills College Staff March on the President’s House Demanding a Fair Contract & Just Transition
The college is scheduled to be acquired by Northeastern University this summer, and there have been no guarantees in writing that employees will keep their jobs.
Last Tuesday, March 1, dozens of Mills College staff, faculty, students, and alumnae converged on Holmgren Meadow to make administration hear their demands for a just transition. They started with a festive Mardi Gras-themed gathering, followed by a march to the on-campus mansion of the college president, Elizabeth Hillman, where they led a spirited rally and a candlelight vigil.
Mills College Staff, Adjunct Faculty, and Students Rally and March for a Just Transition as Northeastern University Acquisition Looms
Despite Mills’ administration’s claims that the acquisition will preserve the college’s character and prevent layoffs, they have been unwilling to put their promises in writing, and early signs from Northeastern are not promising—and staff and adjuncts ar
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“Who makes Mills? We make Mills!” The protest chants echoed throughout the Oakland, California private women’s liberal arts college. The militancy of the Mills College Staff Union, which represents four hundred staff and non-tenured faculty, was on full display. On Wednesday, October 13, 2021, hundreds of Mills College staff, adjunct faculty, teachers, professors, students, and community allies rallied at Rothwell Center in front of Mills Hall.
On November 21, staff at Mills College formally requested recognition of their union in a letter to President Elizabeth Hillman, stating, “We seek to cultivate a partnership with College administration that honors the overwhelming support for unionization among Mills staff.”
The approximately 200 workers who could win their unions serve students in a wide range of non-faculty jobs in the library, administrative offices, art museum, IT services, and by supporting the College’s academic programs.