By Danyel Ferrari, New Brunswick Chapter, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
This was the 25th bargaining session. Counters from Office of University Labor Relations (OULR) on PTL (Part-Time Lecturers) contract articles—Article 6 on appointments, Article 8 on personnel files, and Article 11 on Professional Development—were discussed. In addition, the full-time unit’s Winter/Summer Instructor contract proposal was introduced for the first time in these negotiations. The session was a small hybrid session, with a combination of in-person and remote/virtual participants.
Management did not bring any counters for AAUP-AFT or BHSNJ proposals. The PTLFC bargaining team began by responding to counters to their articles related to space available for PTLs to work and to meet students privately so as not to violate students’ Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) rights, a critical concern given the absence of offices or even private space available to adjuncts. The PTLFC team also responded to counters on professional development funds and timelines for semester teaching appointments. The Office of University Labor Relations (OULR) was asked to respond to detailed and specific questions about the logic on language they stuck-through or removed from PTLFC proposals in their counters. For a detailed update on this portion of the bargaining session, see the adjunct union website.
After addressing their articles, the PTLFC unit excused themselves to address other concerns, and the AAUP-AFT bargaining members remained to introduce the Winter/Summer Instructor (WSI) contract proposal. Mostly notably with regard to the WSI, the AAUP-AFT proposed the merger of the WSI unit into the full-time faculty and grad worker unit, and asked for a significant raise in salary and pay equity for the all WSIs.
Overall, our units did most of the talking at this session. The session lasted a bit over an hour, and it was incredibly inspiring to hear various members make powerful testimonials and propose well-considered solutions to the issues facing members of both units.
As this was the first time we presented on Winter/Summer bargaining, there was little pushback on the contract proposal at this time. It was powerful to have bargaining representatives from both our units working together at the table. Even when management does not wish to see us as a unified faculty union, we know we are, and we act accordingly.
During the session, representatives from OULR were largely dismissive of detailed questions on the university’s understanding of or position on terms they had altered or removed from union proposals. They made repeated mention that they had previously rejected the classification of PTLs as “Fractional NTTs.” As in previous sessions, OULR seems more concerned with semantics and minutiae than meeting us in good faith toward resolving the larger concerns presented in our proposals.
The above is a report from a bargaining session for our next contract. After each session, our union will provide an update, written by a rotating cast of member-observers who are sitting in on negotiations. Click here for a full archive of Bargaining Updates.