Today, September 27, 2013, starting at 12:30 PM, Rutgers One activists are demonstrating in solidarity with non-tenure track (NTT) faculty in front of the Rutgers Student Center on the College Ave Campus in New Brunwick where the universitu's president, Robert Barchi, will address the University Senate at 1:10 PM.
Frustration is growing among students, faculty, staff, and community members at the lack of progress at the bargaining table, even though President Barchi publicly stated more than 2 months ago that he recognized that Rutgers needs to “grow” and “formalize” its non-tenured faculty as a necessary part of quality higher education at Rutgers.
Although President Barchi appeared to recognize the value of the NTT faculty when he spoke before the Rutgers Board of Governors on July 11, his management bargaining team has continued to reject serious discussion on the proposals that would craft quality employment practices for this group of employees who are not on the tenure track. They aim to create:
- clear and coherent procedures for proper evaluation and reappointment
- promotion pathways
- job security through multi-year contracts and due process rights
- an end to the practice of non-renewable contracts that can be imposed at any time without explanation or recourse
Rutgers One will stand in solidarity with the over 800 full-time non-tenure track (NTT) faculty who are working in teaching and research jobs that have been designed as contingent “annual” positions. Non-tenure track faculty work in jobs that demand high levels of educational achievement and professional skills but Rutgers administration does not provide comparable quality in its employment practices.
Participating in the action today are Rutgers students, staff, and faculty as well as New Brunswick community members who are united in support of Rutgers non-tenure track faculty.
Rutgers Students Support Better NTT Faculty Working Conditions:
Rutgers undergrad students will hand out leaflets in support of the NTT faculty, wearing solidarity shirts. Among the students participating is Margarita Rosario, a junior in the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences, New Brunswick. Margarita says she supports her instructors because “the working conditions of professors have a huge effect on students. By the time we need a recommendation letter, our professors will be gone. We need a system that allows professors to be mentors to students, not just a machine by which students received information.”
Marisa Jimenez, a sophomore in Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences, New Brunswick, who will also be wearing a red solidarity shirt saying “Students Support Faculty,” says: “Education, the main purpose of this university, is compromised when the non-tenure track faculty is treated unfairly with job instability and inadequate pay. NTTs deserve better, so the students can learn better.”
Community Solidarity for NTT Faculty:
Craig Garcia, New Labor (a New Brunswick-based worker center empowering low-wage workers): “New Labor would like to express solidarity with the non-tenured instructors and researchers of Rutgers. Through our work in New Brunswick, one thing we have learned is that precarious employment undermines the quality of work. Such insecurity threatens the quality of education associated with the University and the sense of community that has long inspired Rutgers students to go on to make meaningful contributions to our broader society.”
Staff Support for NTT Faculty:
Lucye Millerand, president of the Rutgers staff union (Union of Rutgers Administrators-AFT) says, “Non-tenure track faculty are never going to have the same type of job security that tenured faculty have, so if Rutgers wants to have a high-quality faculty, the administration needs to offset that with a decent salary and working conditions. Treating NTT’s poorly will be reflected in the quality of teaching and research at Rutgers. URA members’ work overlaps at some point with the work of NTT’s. It would be ironic if the faculty is used in a race to the bottom against the staff.”
Rutgers One is a coalition of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community groups who support quality public higher education at Rutgers and for New Jersey as a whole.