Letter to the Editor: Letter to the Board of Trustees

The+Emerson+College+staff+union+logo.

The Emerson College staff union logo.

By The Emerson Staff Union

Dear Members of the Board of Trustees,

We, the Emerson Staff Union, would like to request a meeting with Board members next week to address the College’s ongoing staffing crisis. We will also be inviting representatives from the faculty unions, students, and alumni. As members of our community, they are invested in the conversation and interested in sharing their perspectives on this dire situation affecting the College.

In the last two years, we’ve had a 39% turnover rate in our departments—25% this past year alone. The people who have worked tirelessly to support our students and faculty are leaving the institution in record numbers, and the College’s leadership is unresponsive. 

Staff workloads are unmanageable due to slow backfilling of positions. Salaries are stagnant at a time of record-high inflation, particularly in the Greater Boston area. This is impacting our ability to provide the level of support our community deserves and take pride in our work and the College’s mission.

The Staff Union would like to be a strategic partner as we move forward with the presidential search. Potential presidents are interested in the culture and climate of the institution. Regular salary increases, a cost of living adjustment, and a commitment to shared governance will demonstrate to any potential president the College’s respect for its staff, while at the same time reducing turnover and showing Emerson’s ability to attract and retain the best performers. As a result, the Staff Union can demonstrate to a new president that we are ready to rally our members behind their compelling vision for Emerson’s future. 

Emerson is at a pivotal moment in its history as it searches for its 13th president. And with new challenges including a pandemic, political backlash, and changing demographics that could lead to enrollment declines, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Please reach out to Eric_Matthews@emerson.edu, the Recording Secretary for the Emerson Staff Union, with your availability to meet next week so we can chart a path forward. 

Respectfully, 

The Emerson Staff Union