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NTT News: What Just Happened?

Submitted by Staff on Mon, 12/23/2013 - 00:00

December 23, 2013

Dear NTT Colleague:

Nearly everyone of you in the non-clinical titles will be affected in some way by the changes that  the administration (at long last) agreed to last week.  Read the Memorandum of Agreement.  Attend meetings that the Rutgers AAUP-AFT will schedule in the next month or two to review what’s new.  And vote in January, when all members of the union will be asked to approve the settlement.  

I informally ranked what we achieved by the numbers of faculty affected.  On my list, there is a three-way tie for the widest impact: every NTT faculty member is now eligible for (though not entitled to) multi-year contracts; violations of the terms of employment set forth in letters of appointment may be grieved; and NTT faculty (except Lecturers) will be placed into a title series that creates a promotion pathway.  (The title of Lecturer is returned to the use that university policy has always assigned it: a temporary position of instruction.)  

Some of you will benefit by an end to the fiction of nonrenewable contracts.  They are no more.  And in a side letter, the administration agreed to withdraw the nonrenewable contracts recently distributed in the School of Arts and Sciences and replace them with renewable contracts.  

Some of you will benefit when, effective 1 January 2014, all Research Assistants and Assistant Instructors must be paid at least  $39,058 if on an academic year contract or $44,963 if hired on a calendar year contract.  (Those are the minimum salaries for the next higher rank.)  

When, on 1 July 2014, the title Research Assistant merges into Research Associate and Assistant Instructor merges into Instructor, many of you will benefit by a change of title.

The title series for non-clinical, non-tenure track are Research, Teaching, Professional Practice, and Librarian.  It will take time for departments and units to figure out, first, the series appropriate for their faculty, and then, the criteria appropriate to promotion in the series.  The Memorandum of Agreement sets deadlines.

These are not perfect results.  Salaries for far too many of the NTT faculty are unacceptably low.  Raising the minimum salaries at all ranks but especially at the rank of Instructor and Research Associate should be a top priority in the upcoming contract campaign.  To make that happen, NTT faculty will need to stay engaged, help colleagues understand their needs, and campaign alongside the tenure-track faculty. 

I thank all of you who came to meetings, wrote messages, and taught me about the variety of jobs performed by NTT faculty and your terms of employment.  Thanks also to the activists among you who circulated our petition, handed out leaflets, and made a little noise up at Old Queens.  Please join me in thanking the terrific team of faculty who got this job done, Distinguished Professor Lisa Klein, Clinical Associate Professor Barbara Cannella, Lecturer (Assistant Professor) Donald Siegel, Instructor Carla Katz, Assistant Instructors Rose Cipparulo and Trip McCrossin, alongside Executive Director of Rutgers AAUP-AFT Patrick Nowlan, and Attorney Steven Weissman.  You will receive the message I wrote to the entire faculty, wherein I speak about the work still to be done.  Stay active and carry on.

 

Ann D. Gordon
Research Professor Emerita
Former Chair, NTT Bargaining Team

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