Summary of Opening Bargaining Proposals by The Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union

Summary of PTLFC  Bargaining Proposals

Below is a summary of bargaining proposals submitted to management on 6/13/2022. Proposals marked with an asterisk (*) have not been formally submitted but were presented at the first bargaining session.

1. One Union – All persons performing unit work should be in the same unit

The core academic mission of the University – educating undergraduates and graduates and contributing to the body of knowledge through scholarship and research – is advanced by full-time faculty and librarians, adjunct faculty, post-doctoral fellows, teaching assistants, graduate assistants and other doctoral students.  Therefore, the AAUP-AFT seeks to represent all employees whose primary responsibilities are teaching, research/scholarship or clinical care, in a single bargaining unit that advocates for their common interests, as well as for the interests of their students. 

a. Article 1 – Recognition of PTLs as part of F-T TA/GA Unit

All persons employed by Rutgers, the State University, heretofore known as “Part-time Lecturer”, (will be) henceforth (known) as “Instructor, Fractional NTT”; “Assistant Professor, Fractional NTT”; “Associate Professor, Fractional NTT”; “Professor, Fractional NTT”; or “Distinguished Professor, Fractional NTT”. . .

The University agrees to add employees who are represented by the Part Time Lecturers Chapter of the AAUP-AFT negotiations unit to the full-time faculty/grad unit of the AAUP-AFT (RCFC), upon proof that a majority of PTLFC members have designated the AAUP-AFT (RCFC) as their majority representative for purposes of collective negotiations. Proof of majority status shall be determined by card check recognition pursuant to the procedures of the American Arbitration Association. A majority of the PTLFC shall be determined based on its members who wish to teach during the 2022-23 academic years and who were 1) employed during the semester in which cards designating the AAUP- AFT (RCFC) as the majority representative are submitted, and 2) employed during the preceding semester who were not teaching on their first PTL contract.

2. Pay Parity/Equal Pay for Equal Work

To ensure the continued enhancement of Rutgers’ standing as a world-class public research university, the PTLFC seeks salaries for Fractional NTTs commensurate with the jobs they do for the University, salaries that are paired with those who teach full-time. It also seeks salary increases that keep pace with inflation and support the continued recruitment and retention of faculty and students with outstanding qualifications. All faculty at Rutgers–whether they teach one course a year, or a full-time teaching load, teach the same courses, but some of us get paid only a fraction of what others do. This disparity is not only grossly unfair to those individuals teaching these courses; it harms Rutgers’ students. They deserve to be taught by a faculty that is fairly compensated and properly supported, where no one is forced to teach more courses than best practices in higher education recommends, and where they can give students the time and attention they need.  “Fractional appointments” paired with real job security would rectify this injustice. 

a. Article 4 – Salary Provisions

Fractional Non-Tenure Track Faculty (NTTs) shall receive a salary based on a fraction of the minimum salary of a Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) NTT at the same rank based on the per credit teaching requirements set by departments or units for full-time NTTs, but in no event shall a fractional NTT appointment be less than a .15 FTE – the equivalent of teaching one three-credit course during the calendar year.  For example, a Fractional Associate NTT, who teaches 4 three-credit courses during a fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) shall receive a fractional appointment of at least .6 FTE and be paid at least .6 (or 60%) of the minimum salary for a full-time Associate NTT.     

3. Job Security: How to address “adjunctification”

The primary sources of job insecurity for members of the PTLFC are their term-by-term employment status, and the threat of arbitrary non-renewal. These conditions, which are virtual constants for contingent instructors, impede the quality of instruction we can deliver and materially impact student outcomes. They are hallmarks of “adjunctification,” the growth of which President Holloway, in a Summer 2020 Town Hall hosted by the PTLFC,  identified as a “problem” that he would make a top priority in his administration. Nearly two years on, we are still awaiting a satisfactory response from the administration. In any event, the issues we face around job insecurity remain. Our proposals address these issues in a comprehensive and thoughtful manner, identifying appointment terms consonant with those the university has already agreed to for NTT contracts.

a. Article 6 – Appointments

4. Health Care for employees, and Health and Safety at Rutgers

No one working at the flagship public university of NJ should go without health care or work under conditions that put their health at risk. Yet a considerable proportion of Fractional NTTs at Rutgers lack coverage for health care and have worked under conditions during the pandemic which may have put their health at considerable risk. Rutgers’ various missions can only be achieved by providing all faculty and other employees the opportunity to balance work and non-work life. Providing all faculty and other employees the basic benefits and protections that enable them to do their jobs, including employer-subsidized medical insurance, is critical to producing this opportunity for life balance. Our proposals address these needs across two articles.

a. Article 4 – Salary Provisions

Fractional NTTs, with appointments of 50% or greater of an FTE, shall be eligible to enroll in the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) at the same contributions rates as other bargaining unit members, if permitted by law. The Administration and the AAUP-AFT shall jointly seek legislation and/or regulation necessary to implement this contractual provision.

b. Article 10 – Health and Safety*

5. Investment in Instruction and Professional Development – Providing PTLs the tools they need to excel as teaching professionals

PTLs teach the same students and the same classes as our FT faculty colleagues, but we don’t do so under the same conditions. We lack both sufficient investment in our professional development, and a sufficient commitment of departmental and university resources to our instructional efforts. Our proposals seek to redress these insufficiencies:

  1. Article 7 – Departmental Provisions*
  2. Article 9 – Evaluations/Advancement
  3. Article 11 – Professional Development

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