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adjunct ta 2018

We Have A Tentative Agreement

In the final hours of the last day of the Fall semester, we reached a tentative agreement on a union contract covering adjunct instructors at NJIT. We went right down to the wire pushing for the most we could get, and are proud of our accomplishments for this first contract, which will technically start on July 1, 2017 and expire on June 30, 2019.

The economic improvements in the contract are substantial for most members and will begin this semester (Spring 2018). Any adjunct contract already signed will be automatically adjusted to reflect the new salary minimum of $1,500 per credit, as well as other new terms and conditions of employment. Adjunct instructors will now have access to a strong grievance procedure and union representation should any disputes arise in the course of their employment.

Some of our proudest accomplishments in the contract include:
· Significant increases to the adjunct per credit minimum rising to $1,500 for Spring 2018 and then to $1,550 per credit hour for Fall of 2018,
· Those currently above the minimum will receive a $300 bonus in Spring 2018 and a 2% increase for Fall 2018,
· 50% tuition remission for classes at NJIT,
· A $10,000 Professional Development Fund for adjuncts to reimburse travel and professional expenses,
· Internal posting and full consideration in applying for full time University Lecturer positions,
· Recognition and protection of academic freedom in the classroom,
· Orientations for adjunct instructors,
· Movement towards guaranteed office space and work resources,
· A joint committee to continue negotiating over long term contracts, adjunct healthcare, promotions, evaluations, and career advancement.

adjunct ta 2018

Download full tentative agreement (3 mb .pdf) >>

The next step involves adjunct instructors Adjunct instructors participating in the ratification vote, after a review of the contract’s terms. Join the union now and voting information will be made available shortly.

We want to recognize the Bargaining Team members and UCAN officers who volunteered their time over the past six months to achieve what we think is a historic and ground-breaking contract for NJIT’s adjunct instructors. Thank you to all of our members who participated in the organizing drive over the last year and came out on campus for actions and meetings to push this forward. Adjuncts at NJIT now possess a stable and permanent organization which will act as a strong advocate for adjunct instructors moving forward. And while we didn’t win all of what we wanted, we wholeheartedly recommend that you ratify this agreement so we can continue working to improve the wages and conditions for adjunct instructors at NJIT.

Bargaining Report #9

We were back in negotiations on Wednesday, November 15th in bargaining over a new graduate student worker and post-doc contract.

The impact of our successful rally continues to be felt at the table, where we brought a large and articulate group of graduate student employees to discuss different aspects of the administration’s proposals.

We negotiated back and forth over healthcare costs, summer funding for graduate student workers, parking costs, and wages. Like with our proposed adjunct contract, the administration has agreed to our framework of a contract running up to the summer of 2019, ramping up the timeline for our members to receive salary increases and improved conditions.

The administration’s team was cordial and also engaged with us in a discussion about the impending Trump tax plan, which if passed unchanged, would lead to huge increases for graduate student workers’ tax burden. By our calculations, the average out of state NJIT graduate student would now pay around $5,000 per year in federal income taxes.

This is an unacceptable provision that would saddle already underpaid grads with an enormous tax bill every year, and we aim to win NJIT’s support to stand with us against the Trump tax plan. Their team offered to sign on to a joint letter opposing the graduate income provision of the tax bill, which we are moving quickly to organize against. We are hopeful that if the bill goes through, our union can negotiate a suitable workaround with the administration to avoid this attack on our member’s take home pay.

We have additional bargaining sessions scheduled in the coming weeks, and look forward to pulling together a fair contract that advances all of our members.

Your Bargaining Team,

Subash Ray, Graduate Employee, Biology
Nikola Bosnjak, Graduate Employee, Mechanical Engineering
Patrick Nowlan, Executive Director, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Joe Richard, Lead Organizer, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Jacob Chaffin, Organizer, Rutgers AAUP-AFT

Adjunct Faculty Contract Rally 11/0817

Newark Adjunct Teachers Rally At NJIT For More Pay, ‘Recognition’

Adjunct teachers at NJIT in Newark say they’re taking a stand against a “toxic culture” that asks too much of its lowest-paid faculty.

By Eric Kiefer, Patch Staff

NEWARK, NJ — Adjunct teachers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in Newark say they’re taking a stand against a “toxic culture” that is asking too much from its lowest-paid faculty members. That’s what spurred NJIT adjuncts to rally on campus last week, according to a statement from AFT New Jersey.

The 300-plus adjunct faculty members – who voted to form a union in May – want “better pay, recognition of their critical roles in the campus community and opportunities for professional development and career advancement.”

Adjuncts at Rutgers earn about $5,200 per class, compared to $3,900 at NJIT for the same work, forcing NJIT adjuncts to scramble to pick up extra classes to make ends meet, union representatives said in May. Many adjuncts at NJIT have no access to employer-sponsored health insurance because they teach at multiple institutions part-time, union leaders added.

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Bargaining Update #8

Wednesday was a huge success! Despite the cold weather, we had a great rally over the lunch hour in front of Fenster Hall, featuring adjuncts, graduate student workers, post-doctoral researchers, and guest union speakers from across the state of New Jersey. Speaker after speaker reiterated their support for UCAN’s efforts at the bargaining table, and our fight for better pay, decent healthcare and professional treatment for all of our members.

Check out our Facebook page and “like” our social media presence to see some pictures of the event!

https://www.facebook.com/ucanaft/

Our efforts paid off. It may not seem like much to attend a lunchtime rally, but the administration was definitely paying attention: NJIT President Joel Bloom even walked through our gathering at one point and saw our growing numbers.

At the bargaining session a short hour later, the administration’s team made movement towards our adjunct wage demands, and accepted the framework of a two-year contract. We are insistent on a two-year collective bargaining agreement, dated to the beginning of this semester, in order to raise adjunct pay as much as possible in the shortest amount of time possible. The administration has also offered to involve the Provost in the next bargaining session, which we look forward to.

While the administration’s increased monetary offer is a positive development, it still doesn’t go far enough. We’re also looking for other areas of improvement in order to achieve what we consider a fair contract.

This week we will be in negotiations over graduate student worker and post-doc conditions, and we have future dates for adjunct bargaining. We’re committed to winning a fair contract that raises up conditions for ALL of our members.

On Thursday, November 16th we’ll be having our UCAN General Membership Meeting for November in the NJIT Campus Center. We urge you to attend with your questions about negotiations and to get involved in our growing new union. We look forward to seeing you there!

Best,
Susan Bristol, Adjunct Instructor, CoAD
Jeffrey Reaves, Adjunct Instructor, NCE
Patrick Nowlan, Executive Director, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Vicky Pacheco, Staff Associate, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Joe Richard, Lead Organizer, Rutgers AAUP-AFT

United Council of Academics at NJIT
191 Central Ave
Newark, NJ 07103

Adjunct Faculty Contract Rally 11/0817

Newly Unionized NJIT Adjunct Faculty Rally On Campus For Contract

NEWARK…NJIT adjunct faculty, who voted to form a union in May, rallied for a fair first contract on campus Wednesday, calling for better pay, recognition of their critical roles in the campus community and opportunities for professional development and career advancement.

Susan Bristol
Susan Bristol

Susan Bristol, a NJ native, attended University of Virginia’s architecture program before NJIT’s was accredited and wanted to bring some of the excellence from that program and her professional experience back to New Jersey as an adjunct faculty member. Bristol said, “We are calling for NJIT management to bargain a fair contract that recognizes the contributions of highly-skilled, experienced adjunct faculty and addresses what has become a toxic culture of over-reliance on severely under-compensated professionals to teach and perform many vital campus functions.”

Despite her part-time status as an adjunct faculty member, Bristol has created new curriculum & original courses, participated in national accreditation, recruited high school students, made calls to admitted students, delivered public lectures at other universities, taken students on field trips to important architectural sites, and arranged meetings with prominent architects to enrich students’ experience. “I love teaching NJIT students, but what are the institutional ethics of asking the lowest-paid faculty to perform so many uncompensated professional functions on top of their teaching responsibilities?”

Jeff Reaves
Jeff Reaves

Jeff Reaves believes that NJIT could do a better job of creating bridges to full-time employment for adjuncts by integrating campus functions and research or other professional responsibilities between semesters. Enrollment is strong at NJIT because students are attracted to the new technologies such as developing applications and adjunct faculty members offer significant real-world professional and corporate background to the student experience.

After graduating from NJIT with dual masters’ degrees in Information Systems and Environmental Sciences, Reaves spent years implementing technology systems with a specialty in legal systems before discovering his aptitude for teaching while training to roll out the systems. “NJIT has the resources to compensate adjunct faculty fairly and create additional professional opportunities for full-time employment and accompanying benefits such as health insurance,” he said.

Bristol and Reaves were among the 300-plus adjunct faculty members who voted to form a union in May, affiliating with Rutgers American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers.

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Donna M. Chiera, AFT New Jersey President

More than 10,000 adjunct faculty members at Rutgers and all of New Jersey’s public four-year institutions and 10 community colleges are members of AFT New Jersey bargaining units. Donna M. Chiera, AFT New Jersey President, attended Wednesday’s rally to support the call for a fair contract. “We support better opportunities and fair compensation for adjunct faculty,” said Chiera. “As a premier research institution, we know NJIT can do better in its treatment of adjunct faculty.”

noonan 110817
Robert Noonan, Montclair State Adjunct Faculty Union President

Montclair State University Adjunct Professor of Education Robert Noonan is President of the Montclair Adjuncts local, representing more than 1,200 adjunct faculty. Noonan addressed the rally, “You teach 42 percent of the classes at NJIT. We teach 50 percent of the classes at Montclair. If higher education is going to have credibility, we have to bring adjuncts into the fold, pay a decent wage and have equity with other teaching faculty.”

Bargaining Update #6

Dear Colleague,

Yesterday afternoon we returned to the negotiating table, and had an unproductive session marred by management posturing over who we choose to bring to the table as members of our bargaining team. Right from the beginning, management’s team objected to the presence of both adjunct instructors and graduate student employees coming in to negotiate together, despite an earlier agreement that we would spend the afternoon negotiating over both proposed contracts, and no earlier objections when we had representatives of both groups on our team in a single session.

After rejecting our adjunct salary proposal for parity between adjuncts and the NJIT University Lecturer minima for a three credit course, yesterday we proposed significant raises for adjuncts that would at least equate to equal pay with adjuncts at Rutgers University across the street. We refuse to accept their counter that NJIT adjuncts should be the lowest paid of all adjunct instructors at any public 4 year institution in the state of New Jersey.

We countered management’s refusal to offer healthcare to adjunct instructors, presented on wage demands for the graduate student and research employees, as well as a fair grievance procedure that guarantees due process for all of our members. They took our counters, and will respond to us in the coming weeks.

In order to show management’s team that we will not accept sub-par wage increases for all adjuncts, graduate student workers and research employees, we are calling on all of our members and supporters to stand with us outside of Fenster Hall over the lunch hour on Wednesday, November 8th.

Our last action outside of bargaining showed we were serious: this time around we want to show the administration that in order to secure a contract, they will have to deal fairly with us and raise up the wages and working conditions for the academic employees on campus who, according to their self-reported Institutional Profile from 2016, teach 42% of all course sections across campus.

Will you commit to joining your colleagues on November 8th to show the administration that graduate students, research employees and adjuncts all deserve fair wage increases, access to decent healthcare and an equitable union contract? RSVP to this message and let us know, so we can plan on bringing t-shirts and placards for everyone.

We’ll also be discussing the details at our upcoming October General Membership Meeting on Monday, October 30th at 4:30pm in Room 240 of the NJIT Campus Center. See you there!

Your Bargaining Team,
Susan Bristol, Adjunct Instructor, CoAD
Jeffrey Reaves, Adjunct Instructor, NCE
Subash Ray, Research Assistant, Biological Sciences
Patrick Nowlan, Executive Director, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Victoria Pacheco, Staff Associate, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Joe Richard, Lead Organizer, Rutgers AAUP-AFT, UCAN
Jacob Chaffin, Organizer, Rutgers AAUP-AFT, UCAN

Bargaining Report #5: No Raises Unacceptable

Thank you to everyone for coming out yesterday to show your support for a fair adjunct contract! We had a successful action that featured 25 or 30 adjuncts and their supporters holding “I Love Adjunct Unionization” signs, and then went back to the table with the administration bargaining over an adjunct contract. Our action had an impact inside the room, by showing the administration’s team that adjuncts at NJIT are watching closely what happens. Tomorrow we will negotiate over a graduate and research employee contract.

On Monday the 25th we received a more complete offer from the administration, which included more counter-proposals but still no language around access to health care. We went back and forth with them over the issue of guaranteed office space and resources for adjuncts, support in the classroom from TA’s for large class sizes, paid orientations for all new adjunct hires, a fair and efficient grievance procedure, and also wages.

We made it clear to them that a 0.0% increase is absolutely unacceptable, especially in a context where NJIT is on a solid financial footing, tuition and enrollment continue to rise (as well as administrative salaries), and the administration has continued plowing millions of dollars into acquiring new property in the surrounding community and launching new construction projects. Adjuncts deserve a fair wage increase and we are waiting for a good faith economic offer.

Our next date for adjunct bargaining is set for October 11th, in order for us to receive the final counter-proposals from the administration and to formally counter their offers. We very much look forward to getting back to the table and continuing to fight for a fair adjunct contract.

Also, mark your calendars now! Our monthly General Membership Meeting for October is set for Monday, October 16th from 4:30 to 6:00 pm in Room TBA of the NJIT campus center. We’ll see you there!

Your Bargaining Team,
Susan Bristol, Adjunct Instructor, CoAD
Jeffrey Reaves, Adjunct Instructor, NCE
Patrick Nowlan, Executive Director, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Vicky Pacheco, Staff Associate, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Joe Richard, Lead Organizer, Rutgers AAUP-AFT

Bargaining Report #4: NJIT Offers Adjuncts 0.0% Raises

Important Information: We need you to join us at bargaining on Tuesday, September 26th at 2:00pm on the 5th

Along with rejecting our proposals for longer term contracts, language around promotions, guarantees of significant timelines for reappointment, seniority, and basic requests for union stability like wifi access, they offered literally nothing for salary increases for adjunct instructors. Zip. Zero. By proposing the current salary minimum of $1,300 per credit hour as their economic offer for the 2018 academic year, they’ve proposed that hundreds of adjunct instructors receive no raises for the life of our contract.

Their team also didn’t respond to the final 11 articles in our proposed adjunct instructor contract. To our negotiating team, this hardly signifies a good faith effort to negotiate a fair agreement.

We were at the negotiating table again yesterday, the first time since August 22nd. We argued with the administration over issues of longer term contracts, the need for stable and continuous employment for adjunct instructors, and the real need for significant amounts of advance notice about teaching classes. We also formally requested a clear answer as to the minimum enrollment numbers before a class is cancelled.

floor of Fenster Hall. Adjunct Instructors deserve a fair contract that recognizes our professional contributions to NJIT!

After cancelling a bargaining session in early September and repeated delays in sending our team their counter-proposal, the NJIT administration finally responded to our proposed contract covering adjunct instructors, and it was a whopper: 0.0%

We will be back at the table on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 26th. We expect a full counter-proposal by that time, and look forward to receiving a serious economic offer, given the university’s strong financial position, as recently reported by the NJIT Chief Financial Officer at a recent Faculty Senate meeting.

But we need your help. We want to show the administration that adjunct instructors are a valuable part of the NJIT community, and that we expect a fair contract that recognizes our contributions to be bargained on time and in good faith.

Will you join us on Tuesday, September 26th at 2:00pm on the 5th floor of Fenster Hall to stand with your colleagues? Please RSVP so we can bring union t-shirts for everyone!

Contract Bargaining Report #3

Our negotiating team was back at the table on Tuesday the 22nd to bargain with the administration for both adjunct instructors as well as graduate and research employees. You can find the UCAN graduate employee proposal here and the adjunct proposal here.
Their team responded to our proposals by only sending us counter-proposals for a graduate and research employee contract (found here). We’re still waiting to receive their counter-proposals for an adjunct contract. Both our original proposals and their counters are posted on the website. Take a look, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to talk with a bargaining team member for clarification.
We sparred with the administration’s team over the issue of wages, parking fees, dates for reappointment, union representation, paid orientations for graduate and research employees, an effective grievance procedure, as well as workload. The administration’s team is insisting on raising the minimum graduate employee salary to $22,000 per year, despite the fact that most graduate employees already earn more or a comparable amount, effectively putting forward a 0% increase for most graduate employees.
We pushed for equity with graduate employees at Rutgers University, which means we want a 15 hour workweek rather than the current 20, equal pay for equal work, better healthcare, and cheaper parking. The administration insists that graduate employees are students first, and should be treated as students rather than as workers. We insist that as legally recognized public employees in the state of New Jersey, graduate employees deserve the same treatment as any other employee in higher education.
We also pushed for the elimination of a probationary period for research employees, to guarantee the payout of unused vacation time, as well as wage increases.
We made a number of additional information requests, and the administration’s team agreed to supply us with documentation about their policies on:
  1. violence in the workplace,
  2. academic freedom,
  3. tuition remission,
  4. health care benefits,
The administration’s team also told us in no uncertain terms that their standing orders are to settle our two contracts rather than delaying, so we look forward to meaningful good faith negotiations. We’ll be back at the table next week. We’ve proposed six more bargaining dates for the month of September, and we’re eagerly awaiting their counter-proposals for an adjunct contract, which we expect next week. If you have any questions or would like any clarifications, don’t hesitate to reach out!
Finally, we are looking to set up department meetings to update everyone on the contract negotiations and discuss next steps. Please email Jacob Chaffin at jchaffin@rutgersaaup.org if you are interested in having a union representative talk to your department.