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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Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, “Working People Theme Song”

Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez
Post-Production: Jules Taylor


Transcript

The transcript of this podcast will be made available as soon as possible.

Maximillian Alvarez

Editor-in-Chief

Ten years ago, I was working 12-hour days as a warehouse temp in Southern California while my family, like millions of others, struggled to stay afloat in the wake of the Great Recession. Eventually, we lost everything, including the house I grew up in. It was in the years that followed, when hope seemed irrevocably lost and help from above seemed impossibly absent, that I realized the life-saving importance of everyday workers coming together, sharing our stories, showing our scars, and reminding one another that we are not alone. Since then, from starting the podcast Working People—where I interview workers about their lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles—to working as Associate Editor at the Chronicle Review and now as Editor-in-Chief at The Real News Network, I have dedicated my life to lifting up the voices and honoring the humanity of our fellow workers.
 
Email: max@therealnews.com
 
Follow: @maximillian_alv