Howard University Faculty Win Tentative Agreement Just Hours Before Planned Strike

After nearly four years of bargaining with the university to get their first union contract, lecturers at Howard University narrowly avert a strike at the 11th hour.

Maximillian Alvarez

A sign welcomes visitors to Howard University in Washington, DC, on February 1, 2022. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

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Since full-time lecturers at Howard University originally voted to unionize, they have spent nearly four years bargaining with the university administration to get their first contract. On March 23, just hours before lecturers and nearly 200 adjunct professors, who have been fighting for their second contract, were set to strike, the union secured a historic tentative agreement with the university and called it off. Union members will be voting on whether or not to ratify the tentative agreement in the coming weeks. Even though the strike was narrowly averted, Howard has a long way to go to adequately address the long-running systemic problems that brought non-tenure-track faculty to the point of hitting the picket line.

In this episode of Working People, recorded the day before faculty were set to strike, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez talks to Dr. Aisha Bonner Cozad, an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Howard School of Social Work, and Dr. Sean Pears, a Lecturer in Howard’s College of Arts & Sciences, about the long contract fight for non-tenure-track faculty at one of the most storied HBCUs in the country.

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Maximillian Alvarez is editor-in-chief at the Real News Network and host of the podcast Working People, available at InThe​se​Times​.com. He is also the author of The Work of Living: Working People Talk About Their Lives and the Year the World Broke.

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