North­eastern Uni­ver­sity reached an agree­ment early Thursday morning on a first con­tract with part-​​time fac­ulty working on the Boston campus.

The deal was reached during the 20th formal bar­gaining ses­sion with the Ser­vice Employees Inter­na­tional Union, after the uni­ver­sity had made it clear a pro­posed work stop­page on Jan. 19 would not impact the university’s final offer. Shortly there­after the union agreed to the university’s terms, James C. Bean, provost and senior vice pres­i­dent for aca­d­emic affairs, wrote in a mes­sage to North­eastern admin­is­tra­tion, fac­ulty, and staff on Thursday.

The three-​​year agree­ment is sub­ject to a rat­i­fi­ca­tion vote by union mem­bers. It includes a wage increase, which Bean said will match or exceed the pre­vailing market per-​​course rate in the vast majority of cases. All part-​​time fac­ulty will see some level of wage increase, and some will see course rates rise imme­di­ately by more than 10 per­cent. The salary increases will be front-​​loaded.

In addi­tion, North­eastern will pro­vide qual­i­fying part-​​time fac­ulty access to the university’s three existing health plans, with a 50 per­cent con­tri­bu­tion from the university.

Bean, in his mes­sage, described the deal as “a fair and equi­table agreement.”

Our accom­plished and diverse fac­ulty is the back­bone and lifeblood of the uni­ver­sity,” Bean wrote. “We deeply value the con­tri­bu­tions to our com­mu­nity made by all faculty—part-time, full-​​time, tenured, and non-​​tenure track. In the months and years ahead, the admin­is­tra­tion looks for­ward to working with the fac­ulty, and all mem­bers of our com­mu­nity, to con­tinue Northeastern’s remark­able tra­jec­tory and realize incred­ible new heights.”

In a state­ment, SEIU Local 509 said the agree­ment “makes sig­nif­i­cant progress in com­pen­sa­tion and course sta­bility, pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment and the fac­ulty role in deci­sions that affect their work.”

Under the agree­ment, part-​​time fac­ulty will receive enhanced ben­e­fits, including increased pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties, access to admin­is­tra­tive sup­port and meeting space, and dis­counted access to the Cabot pool and campus parking.

Bean also empha­sized that the uni­ver­sity retains the ability in all cases to guide the aca­d­emic direc­tion of its col­leges, depart­ments, and pro­grams. The agree­ment pro­hibits strikes and pickets during the life of the contract.

The deal includes strong pro­tec­tions that pre­serve oper­a­tional flex­i­bility for the uni­ver­sity, which, Bean wrote, “will allow the uni­ver­sity to con­tinue to be inno­v­a­tive and nimble—allowing us to main­tain our lead­er­ship in a rapidly changing global higher edu­ca­tion landscape.”

Con­tract nego­ti­a­tions began in Sep­tember 2014, fol­lowing the deci­sion in May by part-​​time fac­ulty mem­bers to join SEIU Local 509. A total of 609 bal­lots were counted—representing about 62 per­cent of the eli­gible voters—with 323 voting in favor of SEIU rep­re­sen­ta­tion and 286 in opposition.

North­eastern has hired more than 500 new tenured and tenure-​​track fac­ulty since 2006, which has con­tributed in part to a decrease in reliance on part-​​time fac­ulty. Today, about one-​​quarter of course credit hours are taught by part-​​time fac­ulty, who are hired for the sole pur­pose of teaching courses. Their roles differ from full-​​time fac­ulty, in that they are not expected to par­tic­i­pate in other forms of uni­ver­sity ser­vice such as fac­ulty com­mit­tees, cur­riculum design, or time-​​intensive research.

Editor’s note: The final para­graph of this story has been updated from its orig­inal ver­sion to more accu­rately reflect the expected roles of part-​​time fac­ulty at the uni­ver­sity as described in Provost James Bean’s mes­sage to the campus com­mu­nity on Jan. 8, 2016.