All posts by Jacob Chaffin

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.