To join your union, sign this form.
Why should I join the Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union (PTLFC-AAUP-AFT)?
Today, adjuncts are the gig workers of the academic economy. We are an “invisible” group of faculty who often work with low pay, no job security, and without access to benefits like affordable healthcare. Over the past 20 years, academic labor has shifted from approximately 70 percent of professors being tenured or tenure track to 70 percent non-tenured, which represents 1.3 million out of 1.8 million faculty members nationwide. More than 50% of these workers are part-time workers, also called adjuncts. The “adjunctification” of higher education doesn’t affect all workers equally either—according to AFT, underrepresented racial and ethnic groups are even more likely to end up in adjunct positions. And, not only is reliance on poorly paid adjunct lecturers damaging for educators themselves, but research shows it’s also bad news for the student body: it has negative effects on student retention and achievement. In sum, by relying on adjuncts for a large part of their workforce, colleges and universities choose to put profits before justice, and ultimately abandon their central mission: to educate and empower students, creating educated citizens capable of contributing to a just society.
Today, adjunct faculty are fighting back. Within the last ten years, unionization of adjunct faculty members and graduate workers has grown considerably, and university administrations are doing their best to keep us quiet. (Rutgers even keeps the union-busting law firm Jackson Lewis on retainer!)
At Rutgers, Part-Time Lecturers (PTLs), otherwise known as “adjuncts,” teach in nearly every department. Each semester, roughly 1,300 PTLs teach at least 30% of all undergraduate courses and hundreds more work in our professional and graduate schools. PTLs voted to unionize in 1988, forming the Part-Time Lecturer Faculty Chapter (PTLFC-AAUP-AFT, Local 6324); today, our bargaining unit represents roughly 3,000 PTLs overall. Joining our union means having a voice in contract negotiations, as well as a vote in contract ratification and officer elections. Our leverage at the bargaining table and in grievances is directly proportional to our number of active members. (Plus, research shows that strong labor unions lead to higher standards of living for everyone.) When you join your union, you join the movement for justice in higher education, and in our society at large.
JOIN US! The more people we have on board, the louder our voice is at Rutgers! To join your union, sign this form.
Why should I join the Part-Time Lecturer Faculty Chapter (PTLFC) of the AAUP-AFT, even when I’m only appointed for a short-term contract?
Although most PTLs are appointed term-to-term, the average stay is eight years and many of us have been teaching at RU for 20-25 years. One of the reasons we organized ourselves into the PTLFC in the first place was that PTLs received very little recognition for their long committed service in spite of being a “contingent” workforce. One important gain in the 2015-2018 Agreement is that a PTL in his or her first semester of teaching no longer will have to wait one semester before being eligible to join the PTL Faculty Chapter and have rights on the job, including the right to the union-negotiated minimum salary. PTLs also retain membership until three consecutive semesters have passed without teaching. Please take a few seconds to join here.
Why should I join the Part-Time Lecturer Faculty Chapter (PTLFC) of the AAUP-AFT, even if all PTLs are represented anyway?
The more official members we have, the stronger our organization. The force the union can bring to bear at the bargaining table and at grievances is directly proportional to our numbers. Though the PTLFC-AAUP-AFT represents you whether you join or not, that representation is much more effective if you join. The representation fee is required by state labor law and is automatically deducted from your paycheck, but “upgrading” to union membership means you want to improve the professional status of part-time lecturers who carry 30% of the undergraduate classes.
When I join the union, what do I get?
Joining the union gives you a voice in contract negotiations and organizational policy, as well as a vote in contract ratification and officer elections. Once your membership application is processed you will receive a packet of materials including our collective bargaining agreement, our organizational by-laws, a list of discounts available, along with other items. You will also begin receiving Academe, the national AAUP’s journal, and national AFT’s On Campus. You are part of making sure that PTLs, in spite of being contingent faculty, have an organization with mechanisms for making improvement: negotiations, advocacy, grievance procedures.
What do I pay?
When you become a member of the PTLFC of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT, dues are a nominal 1.25% of your wages (that would be $68.66 a term if your salary is the minimum for a 3-credit course $5,493). Dues are deducted over the semester’s paychecks — $3.21 per paycheck, based on this 3-credit course minimum salary.
Only dues-paying members are involved in decision making and may vote. Strong membership means we have greater effectiveness in negotiations and provides us all needed leverage in bargaining. Faculty working conditions are our students’ learning conditions.
How do I join?
Fill out this electronic membership form or contact the Part-Time Lecturers Faculty Chapter by phone (732) 964-1000, by fax (732) 964-1032, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: We no longer need Social Security Numbers on the membership form or your Employee ID; you may leave those sections blank.