ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—With adjunct faculty at three University of South Florida campuses voting on union representation, the USF system administration is slinging mud at the Service Employees International Union. The union has “a controversial history of questionable practices, including serious unlawful conduct,” Olufunke A. Fontenot, a USF-St. Petersburg vice chancellor, alleged in an email to adjuncts Mar. 9. The email also included an all-capitals flyer that she urged recipients to post on their doors to warn union organizers that “YOUR VISIT IS UNWELCOME AND A DISTURBANCE TO ME.” USF has also hired a Boston anti-union consultant to meet with adjuncts. The vote by adjuncts at its St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee, and Tampa campuses ends Tuesday, March 13. Adjuncts at two Florida universities, Broward College and Hillsborough Community College, have voted to unionize in the past two years, with Hillsborough the first public college in the South to do so. “We knew this would be an endurance race, but we have made incredible strides,” Hillsborough sociology adjunct Cheryl DeFlavis told the Crow’s Nest, the USF-St. Petersburg student newspaper. Adjuncts there, who start at $1,940 a course, are seeking a 20% raise, and turned down a 9% raise offered last month. Read more


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