Howard University students faced a housing shortage due to an increase in enrollment.
Howard University (WI File Photo)

Faculty members at Howard University announced Wednesday they plan to go on a labor strike from March 23-25.

A university press release said over 500 faculty members and students rallied on Wednesday in support of the strike. Their point of contention is the inability of university management to bargain with them.

“The university leadership has made it clear that a better teaching environment and better learning environment is unimportant to them,” Cyrus Hampton, a contingent faculty member said, WJLA (Channel 7) reported. “They left us no choice but to strike because of their continued bad-faith bargaining.”

Efforts by a few faculty members to meet with university provost Anthony Wutoh in the administration building were thwarted by campus police. The faculty members wanted Wutoh to intervene in the negotiations to help settle the dispute without striking.

Three contingent faculty members told WJLA that negotiations have occurred for over three years. Yael Kiken, who teaches full-time in the English department but isn’t on the tenure track, laments having to strike.

“Despite how much [we] love teaching here, the difficult conditions make this job unsustainable,” Kiken said, WJLA reported. “It is especially difficult to work here and raise a family. Our salary is too low to afford essential costs like childcare. Each year, we have to reapply for our jobs, meaning there is no guarantee we will have employment from one year to the next.”

James Wright Jr.

James Wright Jr. is the D.C. political reporter for the Washington Informer Newspaper. He has worked for the Washington AFRO-American Newspaper as a reporter, city editor and freelance writer and The Washington...

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