Fordham Faculty United and Administration Reach Tentative Agreement


FFU and Fordham administration reached a tentative agreement, the proposal is currently awaiting ratification from union members. (Courtesy of Amanda Yarolin/The Fordham Ram)

On Jan. 18, Fordham Faculty Union (FFU), a union representing non-tenured and non-tenure track faculty members, announced that the union and university administration came to a tentative agreement (TA) over the labor organization’s latest proposal. The agreement is not final as the union will hold a ratification vote among its members. The ratification of the proposal would effectively call off the proposed union strike, which was scheduled to begin Jan. 30. 

The university issued a press release on Jan. 19 regarding the agreement. Bob Howe, associate vice president for communications and special adviser to the president, stated in the press release that  “The University has been negotiating with [Service Employees International Union] since March 2022—the current contract extension runs through the date of the ratification vote, with an extension through February 28 if the agreement is not ratified—and worked with a federal mediator since December to help us reach an agreement.”

FFU is a part of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and is otherwise known as SEIU Local 200United. 

According to the press release, the new agreement will not go into effect until after FFU’s ratification vote finalizes the deal and the terms of the proposal are agreed to in full by both the union and the university. In the release, Howe said:

“The new agreement will provide salary increases for all members of the union, which are retroactively effective as of August 1, 2022, and will be paid upon ratification of the contract. In addition, the contract will provide part-time members a new employer-funded flexible spending account which can be used for paying medical expenses.” 

FFU members voted in late December 2022 to hold a strike (beginning Jan. 30), withholding labor until the university had agreed to the union’s three primary demands:  higher pay for all union members, health care benefits provided for adjunct faculty and equal pay, or pay parity, for faculty among different departments and schools of the university. 

If those demands were not met by Jan. 30, the union said a strike would begin and continue until both parties managed to reach an agreement. The tentative agreement came just a little under two weeks before the strike was due to begin. 

In an email from the Office of the President to members of the Fordham community, President Tania Tetlow said: 

“We have been in negotiations with SEIU, the union representing many of our part-time and full-time non-tenure-line faculty. I am happy to tell you that the University has accepted the union’s most recent offer and reached a tentative agreement, subject to approval by their membership.”

In response to the agreement, FFU canceled a rally scheduled for Jan. 19 at the Lincoln Center campus. In its announcement via Instagram, the union stated:

“We wanted to thank everyone for the massive outpouring of support, especially over the past few days. Our movement has grown in large part thanks to open discussions about the rally and strike, all forms of worker collective power bolstered by people like yourselves. We hope to continue cultivating a community dedicated to supporting the workers of Fordham University far beyond this round of contract negotiations.” 

This is an updating story.