Bargaining Update #13: Small Sessions

Bargaining Update: February 23, 2023

Howie Swerdloff, a member of the bargaining team who teaches in the New Brunswick Writing Program, wrote these notes on the two sessions the week of February 20-24. We invite members to be notetakers at future sessions.

Articles Discussed


We are inches away from a TA (tentative agreement) on Article 11. The administration made several moves in the right direction. (See details below.) We are also close to reaching agreement on Article 8, although a few sticking points remain. 


There seemed to be a new willingness on the administration’s side to listen and respond to our needs regarding these three (relatively minor) articles. This was not always apparent in past sessions. Hopefully, this will continue in the coming weeks as we get into our core proposals.


These are arguably the least contentious of all of our articles. There has been absolutely no progress on the central issues of salary, advancement, job security, or recognition. On Article 7, the administration has yet to come up with a solution that provides us with secure spaces to meet with our students or to store our teaching materials.  


Professional Development: We have an agreement in principle on Article 11. The administration has accepted our bottom line demand for $125,000 in development funds each contract year beginning in 2022-23. That represents a significant increase from the current $75,000. After weeks of back and forth, we were able to agree on this language, broadening the relevant areas covered by the PDF to cover “professional development”: 

B. Rutgers will provide a Professional Development Fund, in the amount of $125,000 for each academic year of this contract for professional development activities specifically related to the pedagogic and related professional development needs of unit members to enhance faculty knowledge, skills and/or abilities in connection with and related to their professional activities at Rutgers. 

We were also able to resolve the issue of PTLs needing to lay out funds for travel and the like in advance. In the future, adjuncts will be treated the same as everyone else: 

“Unit members with approved Fund requests shall submit receipts, invoices and similar documentation to their school/unit in accordance with the requirements and procedures used by all faculty in each respective department for reimbursement or payment of approved expenses."

The administration also dropped the attempt to impose caps on awards, and agreed that any unused monies will roll over from year to year until the contract expires. Small victories but victories nonetheless.

Personnel Files: There’s not much difference between our old contract and what we are close to accepting in the new one. We wanted the administration to notify us in writing whenever anything is added to our personnel files. Their response was that this would be impractical and that anyway we are already made aware of most documents that are added, such as performance evaluations and disciplinary warnings. We are continuing to press on this but have said we would be willing to limit the required notification to additions of an adverse nature. Another remaining disagreement concerns whether previously employed adjuncts can have access once they have left Rutgers’ employ. Since access is likely already a legal right, it seems unnecessary for it to be mentioned explicitly in our contract.

In Solidarity, 

Howie Swerdloff

Secretary, Rutgers Adjunct Union