November 15, 2013
One last chance to gather names for the petition in support of non-tenure track faculty. I hope your name is there already, Colleague. But has your mother signed it yet? The person across the hall? Clerk at the cash register? Time to muster up. The petition–on paper, if you want, or electronic, as you prefer–is available.
At the bargaining table, the administration’s team is quite open about pitting non-tenure track and tenure-track faculty against each other. Low salaries? They make Rutgers great. Low faculty ranks? They keep the research machinery running. Multi-year contracts? They tie a dean’s hands and complicate a department’s course offerings. All-inclusive opportunities to be considered for promotion by your department? Oh, my, principal investigators might lose control of their enterprises. In other words, the administration claims that the tenure-track faculty of Rutgers expects and relies upon the current terms of employment for non-tenure track faculty. They are not subtle.
But neither is the NTT Bargaining Team. We asked tenured and tenure-track faculty what they think. 1st President Barchi already received an open letter signed by many of the university’s most distinguished professors. Watch campus newspapers for the same letter to appear with more signatures from a larger group of tenured faculty. The letter says, in part:
We believe that to achieve the academic distinction Rutgers aspires to, it must reach agreement with the AAUP-AFT to introduce pathways for the promotion of NTT faculty in teaching and research, to establish multi-year contracts for faculty, to bring salaries up at least to the level of faculty in the state’s community colleges, and to provide protections against arbitrary treatment.
2nd At least ten departments and schools in Newark, New Brunswick, and Camden have approved resolutions of support that are being delivered to the president. The Department of History in New Brunswick led the way, voting unanimously for a resolution that closes, we call on President Barchi to conclude negotiations with the Rutgers AAUP-AFT in a timely manner that includes increased job security, in the form of multi-year contracts, and clear procedures for reappointment and promotion that will create career paths for NTT faculty.
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences-Newark and the School of Law-Camden approved similar resolutions on November 13. Other departments will vote at faculty meetings in December.
The fact is, this is turning into an epic trek, but no one who understands the needs of non-tenure track faculty in research and teaching has tired or retreated. And we have not exhausted our tricks of the trade. You will hear soon about more agitation, even in the busy month of December.
Ann D. Gordon
Chair, NTT Bargaining Team
Research Professor Emerita