Part-Time Lecturers (PTLs), called "adjuncts" elsewhere, teach in nearly every department at Rutgers University. More than 1,300 PTLs are responsible for nearly 30% of all undergraduate instruction, in addition to teaching in our specialty and graduate schools. PTLs voted to unionize in 1988, forming the Part-Time Lecturer Faculty Chapter (PTLFC)-AAUP-AFT. Since that time, many improvements have been made. Review this chart to see at a glance what we have achieved:
Despite a critical role in providing professional expertise in the service of our students and university, PTLs experience precarious employment conditions. Contingency, low salaries and a lack of health benefits define the careers of PTLs, most of whom teach only one or two courses each semester, forcing many to seek additional work. We do not believe this precarious setup is the best way to provide a high-quality education to Rutgers students or allow our PTLs to develop into world-class scholars.
The vulnerability and uncertainty faced by PTLs has no place in the Rutgers AAUP-AFT mission of promoting academic integrity and educational quality to our students and community. Winning greater security and better compensation for PTLs is key to our faculty's excellence and our union's success. Unionization has made a difference, but there is more advocacy needed.