Resolution: Support for Part-Time Lecturers
This resolution passed by unanimous vote of the Executive Council of Rutgers AAUP-AFT on September 9, 2015
The Executive Council requests that tenured and tenure-track faculty adopt this resolution in your departments. You and your colleagues may tweak the resolution as needed.
Whereas, over 1500 part-time faculty teach at Rutgers in a given semester, and offer over 30% of all class room instruction;
And whereas, in many departments the duties and responsibilities of part-time lecturers (PTLs) are the same as those of full-time non-tenure-track teaching faculty;
And whereas, PTLs frequently earn as little as $4800 to teach a three-credit course, which does not reflect either the scope of the work nor the parity in pay scale that Rutgers has established for other faculty members;
And whereas, PTLs are only paid for classroom and grading time and not for academic advising, holding office hours, writing letters of recommendation, serving on committees, or developing new courses;
And whereas, PTLs receive no health insurance, no job security, and no academic freedom;
And whereas, PTLFC-AAUP-AFT (part-time unit) has been in negotiations to improve the circumstances for PTLs for the betterment of Rutgers University and our students;
And whereas, the PTLFC-AAUP-AFT has made specific proposals on fractional appointments that would be more justly compensate PTLs for the actual work they do;
Therefore be it resolved, that we call on President Barchi to conclude negotiations with the PTLFC-AAUP-AFT in a timely manner and to provide fractional appointments, increased job security, and, thereby, dignity and respect in the workplace.
Note from President David M. Hughes to full-time faculty regarding the resolution, based on an email sent to members on September 10, 2015
The university currently pays PTLs on a piece-work basis, usually $1,600 per credit or $4,800 per 3-credit course. These are poverty wages. PTLs, moreover, are the only instructors NOT paid for outside-the-classroom work, such as mentoring students, running independent studies, supervising internships, and writing letters of recommendation. At the bargaining table, the administration suggested that PTLs simply not do that work. Imagine the crisis of students hunting desperately for letters! PTLs teach at least 30% of undergrad courses at Rutgers. Imagine also how many letters, internships, and so on, the full-time faculty would have to manage if PTLs did not do that job.
The PTLs have proposed something better for everyone: that they should take up "fractional" appointments, earning a proportion of the minimum salary for full-time instructors. Otherwise known as "annuals" or "full-time NTTs," these instructors will earn $50,000 this year thanks to the contract we achieved last spring. With a fractional appointment, a PTL might earn 1/8 of that, depending on the course load in a given department. The management side is not conceding to this demand--not by a long shot.
We need to take action. As you know, public actions worked last year: we got rid of "subject to" and obtained higher raises thanks to pickets, demonstrations, resolutions, and attention in the media.
In addition to encouraging departments to adopt the resolution in support of PTLs, we are also distributing printed posters department by department. Please pick up a poster and put it on your office door, bulletin board, classroom, and anywhere else visible. Finally, we are turning out for a demonstration of support at the PTL bargaining session to be held on: Monday, September 28 at 9:30am, Busch Campus Center outside Rm. 117.
All in all, we need to take concrete action to reclaim Rutgers this year for PTLs, as we did for ourselves last year. Please do not hesitate to contact any union officer or staff member with questions, suggestions, and with your willingness to get more involved.