Fordham Faculty Union Votes to Authorize Strike


Fordham Faculty Union (FFU) voted to authorize a labor strike starting Jan. 30 if the university fails to meet demands. (Courtesy of Facebook)

In late December 2022, Fordham Faculty Union (FFU), a union representing non-tenured and non-tenure-track faculty members, voted to authorize a labor strike starting on Jan. 30 if the university fails to meet its demands. Tenured or tenure-track faculty members are not covered by FFU.  

In a press release, FFU stated: “An overwhelming majority of the school’s non-tenure track faculty voted in favor of striking (90% of those who voted), if necessary, starting January 30. The Fordham Faculty United / SEIU Local 200United members, who teach the majority of the courses offered at the Bronx-located college, have been in negotiations with school administrators since March.” 

Throughout negotiations, FFU has spotlighted three main demands to the university: higher pay for all union members, health care benefits for adjunct faculty and pay parity among all university departments. 

“After months of negotiations, we have been shocked with Fordham administration’s indifference to the need for wage adjustments and healthcare benefits amid rapid inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit the faculty community in NYC particularly hard,” said FFU on Instagram

In a statement to The Fordham Ram, Bob Howe, associate vice president for communications and special adviser to the president, said: 

President Tetlow’s November message to employees still applies. Since then, the University and SEIU have agreed to federal mediation, and had a joint session with the mediator prior to the holiday break, in addition to separate communications with the mediator to try and find a mutually acceptable solution. The University’s last offer remains on the table: SEIU has not made a formal counteroffer, though negotiations continue. We hope to reach an agreement with the union that will increase their compensation without creating an undue tuition burden for our students.”  

Other universities in the New York City area have seen similar strikes. Adjunct faculty at the New School went on strike for three weeks in November 2022 for higher wages and benefits. Also, in November 2022, adjuncts at New York University (NYU) threatened the administration with a strike authorization vote. The union at NYU negotiated with the university to receive their demands, and the strike was ultimately avoided. 

FFU Chair and lecturer in the languages department, Josh Jordan, Ph.D., said that he hopes the university will meet the union’s demands and cooperate with them. 

“On the one hand, it’s a form of acceleration of pressure, and it’s an obvious, unmistakable sign of our seriousness in these negotiations. On the other hand, it’s an opportunity to do better both by the contingent faculty here at Fordham who are teaching more than the majority of the courses and do what’s right for Fordham students and community,” said Jordan in a statement to The Fordham Ram. 

Jordan also said the vote speaks to the union’s dedication to their demands. 

“[The strike] is always contingent on the university meeting our most recent proposal. The significance of the [strike] authorization is that a strong majority of our members are willing to step up to withhold their labor as a call on the administration to recognize our worth here at Fordham.”