From Duke Teaching First to the Duke Faculty Union

Our effort to unionize was spearheaded by a faculty-led group called Duke Teaching First. Here are a few key events from our history.
Check back for a more detailed account of our story.

July 28, 2017: Duke Faculty Ratify First Contract!

After months of negotiations with the administration, our members voted unanimously to ratify our collective bargaining agreement—the first faculty union contract at a major private university in the South. We are proud of our contract, and of the extent to which members regularly attended and participated in negotiations. Check out this article from the Raleigh News and Observer about our historic achievement.

March 18, 2016: Duke Faculty Vote Yes!

In a landmark victory for non-tenured faculty across the country, Duke non-regular-rank faculty voted overwhelmingly to join SEIU. Votes from the all-mail ballot election were counted at the Winston-Salem office of the National Labor Relations Board—yielding a resounding 174-29 tally in favor of a union. Our victory marked the first faculty union election at a private university in the South in decades.

March 10, 2016:
Durham City Council Passes 7-0 Resolution Supporting Duke Faculty

The Durham City Council passed a resolution in support of non-tenure track faculty, endorsing our rights to improve our working conditions and to have a collective voice on campus without interference from the administration. The resolution received unanimous support from members of the City Council and the Mayor.

September 17, 2015:
Students Deliver Letter of Support for Non-Tenure Track Faculty

A group of undergraduate students delivered a letter of support for Duke Teaching First with more than 400 signatures to President Brodhead. The students called on Brodhead to remain fully neutral as non-tenure track faculty organize for better working conditions.

Ashlyn Nuckols, one of the students who delivered the letter, said, “It will be beneficial to students and administrators if Duke can become a leader in trying to change this trend.” Read more in the Duke Chronicle