Do you teach in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School, or the Center for Documentary Studies? Does your appointment letter refer to you as a Lecturing Fellow or Instructor?


 YES?  You are covered by our collective bargaining agreement with the Duke administration. Because of our agreement, you have received a raise, guaranteed access to a computer if your appointment is for one year or longer, the opportunity to apply for professional development funding, and other benefits.

 NO?  While you are not covered by our bargaining agreement and are not eligible to join our union, you are welcome to attend solidarity events as well as our end-of-the-semester grading party.

Are you a dues-contributing member (have you signed a union card)?  

 YES?  Excellent! You qualify for S.E.I.U. member benefits and you get to shape your working conditions as well as your students’ classroom experience. You are also eligible to serve as a cluster rep, join a committee, run for office, or become part of the team that will negotiate with the administration. Most importantly, however, as a member you can vote on whether to approve our next agreement.

 NO?  Sign up online or email us for assistance. As a member, you can become more involved in setting priorities, attend bargaining sessions, and vote on our upcoming agreement. You also avoid being a free rider, who benefits from the union without helping to maintain its power. Under our contract, everybody received a raise that is higher than member dues. Without dues-contributing members, we cannot negotiate with the administration from a position of strength. Free riders weaken our union and hurt all of us.


In early 2020, we will begin negotiating our next collective bargaining agreement with the Duke administration. This agreement will impact the wages and working conditions of ALL Lecturing Fellows and Instructors in the College of Arts and Science, Graduate School, and Center for Documentary Studies. High membership numbers allow us to negotiate from a position of strength.

Become More Involved to Increase Our Bargaining Power

North Carolina is a “right to work” state, which may sound like a good thing for workers. However, what this really means is that these states have policies designed to undermine workers coming together in solidarity and bargaining collectively for better working conditions. In “right to work” states, unions must bargain for all eligible workers, but these workers are not required to contribute their fair share, which weakens the ability of unions to provide services and secure improvements. Dues-contributing union membership is our best defense against these attacks on working people of all economic classes and means that we can continue to fight together for a better life for all of us.

ROBUST MEMBERSHIP = ROBUST BARGAINING POWER