Howard University faculty members plan to strike

Hundreds of faculty members at Howard University in D.C. are threatening to go on strike next week.

Angry about what they said is low pay for nontenured, full-time teaching faculty and adjunct professors, 150 nontenure track full-time teaching faculty and 200 adjunct professors, represented by SEIU Local 500, said they will walk out for three days beginning on Wednesday, March 23 — unless an agreement is reached.

Students and faculty members rallied in support of Howard University’s contingent faculty during an on-campus demonstration Wednesday.

“The University leadership has made clear that a better teaching environment and better learning environment is unimportant to them,” said Cyrus Hampton, a contingent faculty leader and Howard alumnus who teaches full-time in the English department, according to SEIU.

“They have left us no choice but to strike because of their continued bad faith bargaining,” Hampton said.

Howard University’s contingent faculty members are teaching “about 1,000 courses this semester,” according to the union.

SEIU said negotiations have gone on “for over three years and numerous unfair labor practice charges against the Howard administration alleging bad faith bargaining are pending at the NLRB.”

In a statement provided to WTOP, Howard University said it “remained diligent in our engagements with Union representation and consistent in our efforts to reach an agreement.” Adding the school is committed to “a peaceful bargaining process” that ensures faculty “have adequate support and resources while maintaining the highest quality of education possible for our students.”

“We have made proposals for wage increases for union faculty and continue to bargain in good faith,” the statement adds.


This report has been updated with Howard University’s response following an inquiry by WTOP.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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