Welcome to the UCAN page!

Please review the tabs for important information regarding leadership of the union, contractual agreements for NJIT postdocs, adjuncts, and doctoral RA/TAs, and to contact the union. UCAN’s officers and staff are excited to hear from you and to work together building the union into a well-organized and powerful collective of members. We are stronger together!

Please Vote to Ratify the MOA We’ve Reached With NJIT

Takeaway: We’ve reached a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the NJIT administration. Under this agreement, the University fee, International fee, and the Graduate Student Association fee will be waived or reimbursed for AY 2020-2021.  

You may remember that under the previous MOA, we secured waiver or reimbursement of University fees. Then, many of you wrote to us that you were being charged International and Graduate Student Association fees, which historically had always been waived by NJIT. We fought to get these fees removed and won. Under this agreement, University, International, and Graduate Student Association fees will be waived or reimbursed for AY 2020-2021. Due to the financial losses attributed to the pandemic in the last year, NJIT was not willing to agree to a raise for UCAN or any of the other bargaining unit employees. However, we fought to include language that should circumstances change for any reason, i.e. federal stimulus or other funds to reverse losses in revenue sustained by NJIT, we reserve the right to reopen this agreement to negotiate raises for our members. The terms and conditions of this agreement will remain in effect until June 30, 2021 and then we will return to the bargaining table to negotiate a successor collective negotiations agreement. When we do return to the table, we will once again fight to get our members salary increases and even stronger contract language. Please look out for more communications from us as we work to determine your priorities for the next contract campaign.

You can review the full text MOA here.

In Solidarity,
United Council of Academics at NJIT

2019-2020 Grad Tentative Agreement

Takeaway: We have a tentative agreement for a contract for the current year (2019-20) with raises and fee remission. We’ll review and approve quickly then go right back to negotiate for 2020-21. Meetings and voting will start Monday, so check your inbox regularly. Read the full agreement here.

We were close to settling contract negotiations back in March when the initial Covid crisis forced the shutdown of NJIT. Subsequently, NJIT used the crisis to delay negotiations. We initially sought a three year contract with incremental pay increases each year. NJIT announced that due to the reported $16 million budget shortfall they could no longer offer yearly increases and instead offered a two-year deal with no pay increase for this coming year. Rather than locking members into an agreement for another year with no raise, we are presenting you a one year agreement so we can go back to the bargaining table immediately and continue fighting for increases. Ratifying this contract means that retro-pay for the previous year will be paid out immediately– including refunds for graduate fees paid back to Fall 2018 for those affected.

The graduate and research employee agreement contains some serious advances for graduate employees in terms of guaranteed funding, summer compensation, and wage increases. While we didn’t win everything we wanted, we feel this agreement moves the ball forward for graduate and research employees at NJIT.

  • New minimum salary of $24,500 per academic year effective Spring 2020. TA/RAs will receive the increase in retro-payment from NJIT for Spring semester ($250) and Fall 2020 will include additional pay of $250.
  • Research Scientists, Engineers, Architects $48,665
  • Minimums for Research Associates $38,950
  • Those above these minimums will receive retro increases of 2.5%
  • Reimbursement of the university fee back to Fall 2018 for RAs who were paid the minimum stipend during the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters and the same for 2019-20.
  • Additional clarification of deadlines in appointment letters
  • NJIT has agreed to continue to negotiate so that UCAN job titles currently eligible for the State Health Benefits Plan (i.e. Research Employees) can enroll in the State’s new PPO plan option and save on their health benefit contributions.

Next steps:
Graduate and research employees will have every chance to read the UCAN-NJIT Graduate Student and Research Employee (7/1/19 – 6/30/20) Tentative Agreement and get questions answered on a series of upcoming conference calls before voting. Here are the dates and times of the conference calls, accessible for any and all graduate and research employees:

Monday, June 22: 12:00 – 1:00pm, EST
Tuesday, June 23: 2:00 – 3:00pm, EST
Wednesday, June 24th: 12:30 – 1:30pm, EST

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 814 396 2746
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Meeting ID: 814 396 2746

Voting for members will begin on Monday, June 22nd at noon and end on Wednesday, June 24th at 5pm. You will receive a ballot and instructions directly to your NJIT email account. You are encouraged to attend one of the above conference calls before voting, if you have any questions. You can also respond to this email with any questions about the tentative agreement.

2019- 2022 Adjunct Tentative Agreement

Takeaway: We have a new union contract but it must first be approved by union members. The new contract 1) raises wages to $5500 per course by Fall 2021. 2) Increases professional development funds for all Adjunct faculty represented under the contract. 3) provides for sick time for all members.

You can view the 2019-2022 adjunct tentative agreement here.

NJIT and UCAN (our adjunct union) have reached a tentative agreement, after months of bargaining, on a second adjunct contract that significantly bridges the salary gap with Rutgers. This new contract makes gains that bridge the payment gap between what we are paid for our work at NJIT and the work of our counterparts at Rutgers. When this agreement ends in 2022, the per credit/contact our wage gap with Rutgers will only be $83.
Other gains in the new agreement include:

  • New language outlining a uniform evaluation procedure that goes beyond just student evaluations.
  • Compensation increases, up from the current $1550, that include retroactive payment
    • Fall 2019: $1600 per contact/credit hour.
    • Fall 2020: $1725 per contact/credit hour.
    • Fall 2021: $1850 per contact/credit hour.
    • Unit members making above these minimums will receive a 3% increase to their base credit/contact hour rate each year listed above.
  • Cancellation fees for courses that are cancelled within seven days before or after a semester has begun.
  • Increases to the Professional Development Fund – $30,000 per year, up from $10,000. UCAN unit members have access to funds, up to $1,000, that can be used for conferences and travel and now can also be used in conjunction with already bargained tuition remission of 50%.
  • 8 hours of sick leave that can be used in hourly increments.
  • Strengthening of grievance procedures.
  • A commitment to work together on health insurance for adjuncts.

The full details of the contract are detailed in the tentative agreement.

Tentative Agreement for Grads and Reseachers

We are excited to announce that our union finally has a signed Tentative Agreement with the NJIT administration over a full union contract covering all graduate and research employees. We want to thank all of our members, union activists and officers, and our bargaining team members for all their hard work.

The graduate and research employee agreement contains some serious advances for graduate employees in terms of guaranteed funding, summer compensation, and wage increases. While we didn’t win everything we wanted, we feel this agreement moves the ball forward for graduate and research employees at NJIT. And we will return to the negotiating table in less than a year’s time for the next round of contract negotiations.

Some of the highlights include:
• New minimum salary of $24,000 per academic year starting in January (2019),
• Guaranteed 4 years of TA/RA funding for all PhD students,
• Guaranteed summer funding of 4 years at a minimum of $3,000,
• A one-time $400 stipend for graduate employees, who worked in the 2017-2018 academic year, paid within two weeks of the contract’s ratification,
• Increased minimum salaries and raises for research employees,
• Lowered parking costs (part-time student rate for all) and refunds for the Spring 2018

The next steps involve graduate and research employees joining the union and participating in the coming ratification vote, after a review of the contract’s terms.

Graduate and research employees will have every chance to read the UCAN-NJIT Graduate Student and Research Employee (7/1/15 – 6/30/19) Tentative Agreement and get questions answered on a series of upcoming conference calls before voting. Here are the dates and times of the conference calls, accessible for any and all graduate and research employees:

Wednesday, May 30: 12:00 – 1:00pm, EST
Thursday, May 31: 2:00 – 3:00pm, EST
Monday, June 4th: 11:00am – 12:00pm, EST

Call In Information:
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/9921187633

International numbers available: https://zoom.us/zoomconference?m=delHvC7nqJzzrqevfNPqlTWRNnALSJgr

Or Telephone: (646) 558-8656

The terms of the contract will begin immediately, and any appointments already signed will be adjusted appropriately to reflect new salary minimums as well as new terms and conditions of employment. Graduate and research employees will now have access to a strong grievance procedure and union representation should any disputes arise in the course of their employment.

We look forward to continuing our fight to improve the wages and working conditions for NJIT employees in the coming years, and working with you in the days ahead.

United Council of Academics at NJIT

Adjunct Faculty Compensation Agreement

MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT is made March 2018, by and between New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and the United Council of Academics at NJIT, Adjunct Instructor Bargaining Unit (UCAN Adjuncts), the Parties to this Agreement.

Whereas, the UCAN Adjuncts and NJIT are Parties to a collective bargaining agreement dated July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019, (the “Contract”);

Whereas, prior to ratification of the new Contract, individual written adjunct contracts were signed by UCAN Adjuncts and processed by NJIT for the Spring 2018 semester, and some of these contracts factored in load credit multipliers for certain courses and/or courses to paid by the contact hour;

Whereas, as part of the newly ratified Contract, the Parties agreed upon a new compensation program for UCAN Adjuncts that eliminated the use of load credit multipliers and based compensation increases on the credit hour rate;

Whereas, the Parties agree to the following non-precedential adjustments to the compensation program for the term of the Contract to ensure that the UCAN Adjuncts are not negatively impacted by the recent ratification of the new Contract:

Now, therefore the Parties agree as follows

Original contract

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.

Join the union

Join the Union

Now is the time to join the United Council of Academics at NJIT. You can complete the membership application online.

You need to be a member to vote on the contract and constitution. Shouldn’t you have a voice?
The strength of UCAN is in the membership. Membership is voluntary. Members benefit by full participation in the union with voting privileges on important union issues including contract ratification, elections of officers and participation in meetings and committees that directly affect your working conditions.

Membership is the right thing to do. Join today by following the instructions above or contacting us to discuss membership.

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.


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!


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!

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