New Brunswick Campus
I am running for re-election for President of the Rutgers PTL Union. I’ve been a PTL at Rutgers for over 20 years. I love teaching and know that I bring enormous value to the University. I believe that every PTL brings enormous value to this University. Sadly, I do not believe that Rutgers values what we do. If it did, it would pay us what we are worth. It would provide us with job stability and security, by offering us multi-year, long-term contracts. It would offer us the same access to affordable health care that other employees have. It would compensate us for the extra labor we put in this entire year in transitioning our courses online. It would not have canceled so many of our courses or laid off 400 of us when enrollments were steady and Rutgers received millions of dollars in federal pandemic aid. We teach 30 percent of the courses at Rutgers, and tens of thousands of its students every year. By devaluing us, Rutgers also harms our students. This is why we must fight for a stronger contract.
This past year, to prepare for next year’s contract campaign, our union hired a full-time organizer. We launched a spring outreach campaign that recruited dozens of PTLs to our union. We organized four virtual town halls to hear from members what we need to feel safe on campus and what we want in our next contract. We launched a petition drive that garnered over 1000 signatures and presented the petition to President Holloway and Vice President for Academic Affairs Moghe. We joined forces with other Rutgers unions to form a powerful coalition. We have momentum.
We still have much work to do, but I know that together we can win the things we deserve: pay parity, long-term contracts, access to health care, compensation for online teaching, and a pathway to full-time employment for those of us who seek it. How do I know this? Because adjunct faculty at other universities have won these things. They won it by organizing the strongest labor unions possible. Our contract is up next June. The last time we negotiated a contract, under different leadership, it did not go very well for most PTLs. This time, we are ready to fight to get a much stronger and fairer one agreement. I hope I can count on your support.
Philosophy and Religion
My name is Bryan Sacks. I’m running for vice president of our adjuncts union at Rutgers. I’m proud to have served for almost two years as our union’s treasurer. It’s been an honor, one I don’t take lightly.
In addition to my responsibilities as Treasurer, I was our union’s lead bargaining rep during the COVID-19 impact negotiations, also our union’s primary representative to the Coalition of Rutgers Unions. My decision to take on these responsibilities was made with the looming 2022 contract negotiations squarely in mind. I’m committed to pushing hard for gains that will bring us equity, job and health security, and a deeper investment in our professional development.
Equity requires we’re compensated at a rate equal to that of our full-time non-tenure track fellows. PTLs teach more than 30% of all courses at Rutgers, yet our salaries make up less than 1% of the university’s total budget. Since Rutgers cannot function in its core mission without our labor, its full value must be recognized.
True job security will only be achieved when PTLs gain multi-year contracts. The term-to-term service arrangement most of us must navigate is not only undignified, it injures students and causes undue stress on PTLs. We deserve longer appointments and earlier offer letters. Further, we must push to ensure that PTLs have the same access to health coverage as our Rutgers full-time union fellows do.
Finally, our professional development must be prioritized. While our union recently won the largest expenditure of professional development fund PTLs have ever enjoyed, it was still far too small to meet the responsibility Rutgers has to maintain professional excellence in instruction. We must change that in the coming negotiation.
Rutgers is viewed as a leader in public education. This provides us an opportunity to set a new agenda for the treatment of adjuncts that can spread beyond Rutgers. To do that we must organize, and focus our energies. I’d be glad to have your support in helping to lead this effort.
English Writing Program
I am seeking the office of Secretary after serving on the union board for the past two semesters. Since my appointment as chair of the organizing committee in January, we have recruited over 40 new PTLs to our union through our successful petition campaign, Town Halls, and weekly telephone blitzes. But over 50% of PTLs are still not members, so this summer we will be knocking on their doors to convince them to join us.
It is vital that we build our membership for the upcoming contract battle because we have bold plans to improve our working conditions. We intend to follow the example of other adjunct faculty in the US who have won equal pay for equal work; health benefits; long-term contracts and job security; early receipt of contracts; advancement opportunities; inclusion in shared governance; the same academic freedoms provided to tenured faculty…and more. These adjuncts demanded and won substantial improvements to their working conditions– and by extension, to the learning conditions of their students.
Last year I was elected to the union board as an at-large representative. I have not hesitated to speak out to defend the interests of our members and students during Rutgers’ unwarranted financial emergency. If you agree that I have risen to the occasion, then please vote for me so I can continue our fight for respect and security.
Hi there, fellow faculty members! My name is Janelle Derstine, and I am running for Treasurer of our adjunct union.
To be clear: I have *no* union experience, other than as a voting member. But I am excited, not daunted. This is because I know my passion and intellect will propel me forward to secure us an equitable contract. I am embarking on a new path here, and reckon there will be unexpected twists and turns for one unfamiliar with the territory. But I am convinced there will be opportunities in equal proportion, and that we can penetrate the (perennial) impasse that arises with each new contract.
I have been involved with Rutgers for over twenty years, first as a graduate student and more recently as a PTL. I have seen the changing of the guards more than I care to admit. Each time, we make small wins. But those small wins will never amount to what we truly need: respect for the value we bring to the educational caliber of this University, and pay equity, job security, and health care that is required in return for that value.
Camden Vice President
My active involvement with the PTL Union (18 years) and the Camden Faculty Council (the last 8 years) places me in an ideal position to represent your interests both at the bargaining table and in the resolution of emerging issues. The fact that I also have an open door invitation to the Chancellor’s Office certainly helps when trying to remedy some of the issues that surface throughout the semester.
We are preparing to negotiate the terms of our next PTL contract. We’re in the early stages, but I will soon solicit your inputs. I will also draft a resolution, for the Camden Faculty Council to pass, supporting our goals during the coming contract negotiations. I was successful in doing that 3 years ago and the Council’s endorsement was one of the factors that helped us reach agreement on several key issues.
I am about to lead a top to bottom revue of our union’s finances. My goal is to determine if there were any inappropriate and/or wasteful expenditures and to seek targets of opportunity for more effective uses of our membership dues. Fully armed with data consisting of the makeup and needs of our PTLs and the strategic interests of the Chancellor’s Office, I am ready to move forward, overcoming obstacles while representing your interests. By partnering with our full-time colleagues, I am determined to negotiate a fair contract.
The timing is perfect.
My contract proposals will be bold.
I just need your vote to continue.
Newark Vice President
In July last year, I wrote on my statement: “We are living in a critical time. The world has been turned upside down since the arrival of COVID 19.” Almost a year later: “What a difference the days made. What a difference science has made.” We are still facing challenges, and they will be greater in the fall when we will be returning to campus. So we need to talk and meet with peers in our departments / schools and exchange information across campuses. We need to be attentive at Rutgers, to testing, class size, ventilation systems, space, cleanliness, and sanitation—all should be on our radar. I have been in academia since my undergraduate and PhD studies in Biology in Brazil and post-doctoral trainings at UMDNJ and Rutgers.
I have been working at Rutgers since 2005. I joined the AFT/AAUP association early on. I believe in its mission statement “to advance academic freedom and shared governance; to promote the economic security of faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and all those engaged in teaching and research; to help the higher education community organize to make our goals a reality; and to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good “
The association has proved to be essential when I needed professional guidance. I have been an NTT and a PTL and have served on numerous committees and task forces at Rutgers in the sciences and languages, as well as diversity and inclusion.
I am also proud to have served on the PTLFC Executive Board for the last year, and I hope that I can continue my contributions as VP for Newark. My goal is to work closely with the diverse community that we have in Newark. I hope with your vote I can contribute to this mission.
New Brunswick Campus
School of Communication & Information
Hello. I am running for a Representative seat on the PTLFC Board.
I have served on the PTLFC Board for the past two years as a Representative and was the interim Secretary of the Board for seven of those months. Additionally, I chaired the Election Committee and Bylaws Committee, as well as participated in the Communication/Media Committee.
I have been a PTL at Rutgers for 10 years teaching nearly 100 sections of a dozen courses. I am proud of the work that I have provided our Union over the past two years and I know that the work will be even more important with our contract coming up next year. I believe PTLs deserve fractional appointment pay, health benefits, and that summer/winter PTL appointments should count towards advancement.
New Brunswick Campus
I am seeking the office of representative for the union board. Although I am new to the team at Rutgers, I support the efforts of the union to improve conditions for the faculty and staff. I draw on my experience in management, finance, marketing, operations and technology to provide ideas on how to address the challenges to achieving the best outcomes for our team.
New Brunswick Campus
School of Management and Labor Relations
I’m experienced and I bring a commitment to building our union through knuckles in the dirt organizing to win what we deserve as instructors at Rutgers University. I got more involved in the union this semester, organizing the departmental call blitzes to engage more members and strengthen our union. Last month, I was voted onto the executive board to fill an empty seat, which I was very honored to accept.
At my core, I believe that strong adjunct unions are the way to save academia from collapse, because the change will not come from the class of administrators who have created this crisis of low wages, lack of stable long-term and instructor jobs. It used to be said that a PhD was your union card, but now we have to replace that with a literal union card. I have been involved in the labor movement in one way or another since I was 18, over the last 20 years, most recently in a long grueling campaign of grad worker organizing at Northeastern University.
Here at Rutgers, I will work to bring more people into the union and make our union as accessible as possible. We must win a good fair contract next year, where we are paid at minimum $8,000 a course (same pay for the same work as NTT instructors), strengthen our unit by bringing summer instructors onboard, and have more job security instead of just semester to semester contracts.
Together we win, and I strongly believe that history shows that there is extremely little we cannot achieve together. In my role teaching labor history as a PTL, I draw upon the examples of what worked and what has not worked in the past and take that approach to my organizing to heart.
Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice
I have been a strong advocate for Rutgers PTLs for many years and previously served on our union Executive Board. I am also a member of the University Senate. I have the experience as an activist to effectively speak for you in our next round of contract negotiations. If elected, I will champion a higher starting salary for all PTLs and a pay scale based on proportional, fractional salaries grounded in the principle of equal pay for equal work with Non-tenure Track full-time faculty (NTTs). I would also fight for greater job security; longer term contracts; more opportunities to transition to full-time faculty positions; health insurance coverage; and a guarantee of academic freedom.
I have been a PTL in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at Rutgers-Camden for over 25 years, received PTL Professional Development Funds, and been a Civic Engagement Fellow. I also taught at the Rutgers Honors College, the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program, and in the Rutgers/LEAP Early College Program. My Ph.D. in anthropology is from Columbia where I studied women’s union organizing at Yale with NSF and the NIMH fellowships. I did my post-doctoral research at Yale. I have also been a researcher with Demographic Perspectives for Bryn Mawr and Harvard, an administrator at U Penn’s Center for Advanced Judaic Studies and its School of Social Work, and a researcher at the Renfrew Center Foundation.
It would be an honor to represent you on the union’s Board. Thank you for your support.
New Brunswick Campus
School of Management and Labor Relations
The Rutgers PTL union pioneered the organization of adjunct faculty. The time is right for our union to again lead the way in fighting for and winning a transformative change in the relationship of PTLs to Rutgers, as part of a broader movement that advocates for students and the community as well as faculty.
I have taught U.S. and New Jersey labor history in the Labor Studies department for the last nine years and researched and wrote about unions, bosses, and building strong democratic unions. Before working in the academic world, I held a number of jobs in different industries, organizing a union in one and acting as union shop representative in another. My research and experience have taught me that when unions involve their members in active and democratic locals and advance a broad and forceful program, they can win significant victories.
I am proud to have played a part in reinvigorating our union over the last three years as a member of the Executive Board and the Organizing Committee, coordinating Town Halls, and bringing more PTLs into active participation. I have been inspired by the energy, activism, and commitment of the current officers and board. With their leadership and the active involvement of hundreds of PTLs, we will develop and execute a strategy to win what we deserve: pay and benefits proportional to full-time faculty, long-term job security, healthcare, and respect. I hope to continue working with all of you to accomplish that together.
New Brunswick Campus
English Writing Program
After so many years of service, it’s encouraging to see fresh energy and ideas coming into the PTL union. We need more new members to increase this surge of activism. With negotiations for a new collective agreement coming up this year, we have an opportunity to make much needed, ground-breaking change. Health insurance can be finally won now that the Senate has passed a recommendation for subsidized health coverage for PTLs. This benefit can be part of a bargaining focus on proportional appointments, with parity pay based on comparable full-time positions and pro-rated benefits.
Having taught part-time at RU since 1979 and having led the organizing drive achieving unionization (AAUP) for PTLs in the 1980s as well as maintaining continual activism after that (in the union, in the University Senate, on the New Brunswick Faculty Council), I have loads of experience with PTLs, University policy, the administration, etc. I am proud to have spoken out on behalf of all faculty, especially PTLs over the years, advocating for better salaries, benefits, professional treatment, and so on. My publications relate to these activities.
Although we have accomplished much at RU (salary growth more than 6 times over, “access” to health benefits, representation in faculty governance, 50% tuition remission, a growing professional development fund, a promotional career path, etc.), there is still much more to do. In the University Senate, I helped pass unanimous recommendations calling for better integration of PTLs into University life and more professional treatment for PTLs. I authored another Senate report passed unanimously urging the administration to compensate PTLs for service activities as well as the Senate report on PTL health benefits.
A committed activist, I continue to serve on the PTL Board having retired from my union staff position and look forward to fighting the good fight to win further advances for PTLs. Putting my years of experience to good use gaining improvements for PTLs at Rutgers is an honor.