Thousands of teachers around the United States are resuming a strike wave in education that swept the country in 2018 and 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. As college administrators nationwide pledge to improve the efficiency of higher education at a time of limited resources and sharply declining enrollment, many college faculty and students are tired of waiting.

Students often choose the sides of their faculty when in it comes to strikes, because students themselves have unmet satisfaction with school administrators, Mercy student activists told the Bronx Times. At Mercy’s Bronx campus, which is located in the Hutchinson Metro Center, students say that low enrollment levels of classes with 4 and 5 students pose cancellations threats to needed courses, and without reliable adjuncts, their education journey is stunted.

Lott-Coakley said Mercy students hope to have their concerns heard, namely over lack of safety on the Bronx campus which includes walks to subway stations and passed a psychiatric facility, as well as frustrations over the withdrawal process, which students say lead to a loss in loans or scholarships.

“When the professors go on the strike, it affects the students. Administration thought they could get other people to replace the adjuncts,” Lott-Coakley said. “Our learning environment is their working environment, so it has a butterfly effect on everyone in the school system.”

Additional gains for Mercy adjuncts in the new contract include money for professional development, academic freedom provisions, course cancellations fees and heightened job security for adjuncts who last more than two years. Adjuncts are still wary about certain provisions which are dependent on student enrollment — Mercy’s student enrollment was around 4,513 full-time students, according to most recent state data — and disappointed over a rejected demand for training compensation.

Most Mercy adjuncts will receive raises of 20% over the life of the contract.

Reach Robbie Sequeira at or (718) 260-4599. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes