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  • Negotiated Conversions: Living with Uncertainty | AAUP
    at the fourteen universities of Pennsylvania s State System of Higher Education All faculty tenure track and contingent alike work within a single bargaining unit and under a unified contract with part time compensation pro rated to tenure track salary scales This unified contract has been critical for one thing as a mechanism to decrease incentives for state system universities to employ ever more contingent faculty the minimum per section compensation for instructors without a terminal degree is currently 5 400 Since 1999 the collective bargaining agreement has provided opportunities to not only halt but to reverse the erosion of tenure track jobs opportunities that are currently being realized though unevenly and not without considerable struggle at my institution California University of Pennsylvania and other system campuses The contract provides that full time temporary faculty who have worked for five consecutive years in the same department will be placed in tenure track status Further it provides that the existence of any courses that have been staffed by temporary faculty for four years in such a way as to equal a full time workload four courses a semester for one or more tenure track faculty shall constitute grounds for creating new tenure track positions Until 2007 these two articles conversion of persons and conversion of positions worked in tandem with another contract provision mandating that the number of part time temporary faculty members not exceed 7 percent of the total number of tenure track faculty That cap on contingency was raised disastrously and unnecessarily in my view in the most recent contract to 25 percent of total faculty In recent years my department English has benefited from both of the contractual conversion provisions In fact these provisions been the principal source of new tenure track jobs in the department yielding four new hires two from each provision in the last three years But while the conversion of persons provision certainly promotes union solidarity and labor justice I m less sure about the conversion of positions provision the practical effect of which is usually to displace contingent department members in favor of new hires from elsewhere since most temporary faculty at Cal U do not have PhDs While contingent faculty at Cal U are less exploited than most contingent teachers nationally their jobs are hardly secure And so the fact that no temporary faculty can ever count on conversion though some are converted means that they re always hustling to keep some teaching presence in other institutions even during those semesters when they re working full time at California and making significantly more per course than they do elsewhere Like most contingent faculty nationally and like many of the students they teach Cal U adjuncts live and move uneasily compromised by the compromises they must make Conversions at Cal U are hardly confined to English Our local union president a psychologist was a conversion of persons hire and some other departments across campus push hard for conversions of both types But these

    Original URL path: http://www.aaup.org/article/negotiated-conversions-living-uncertainty (2016-02-13)
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  • From The President: Bad-Faith Bargaining | AAUP
    effectiveness and visibility of those parts of our organization that are involved in collective bargaining Our collective bargaining leaders have long recognized that we need a mechanism to identify and draw public attention to institutions that consistently deny employees the right to engage in collective bargaining as well as institutions that bargain in bad faith We have a well known and widely respected mechanism for dealing with violations of academic freedom and tenure that prove irresolvable censure but no comparable way to highlight instances when administrations resist negotiations or simply ignore basic bargaining rights Thus for example we have never censured an administration that refuses to honor an employee group s expressed wish for union representation We do not even have an effective way to condemn an administration that withdraws recognition of an existing union let alone a convincing mechanism for publicizing an institution s history of unfair labor practices Encouraged by conversations with our collective bargaining leaders and supported by our general secretary I propose that we inaugurate an Antiunion Warning List to be published in Academe and on our Web site and to be publicized in press releases Because we seek to promote good union principles everywhere the listed institutions need not be limited to ones dealing with AAUP locals or bargaining drives Nor need the problems identified be limited to faculty collective bargaining Graduate student and staff complaints would also be considered We could thus support redress of violations of fundamental bargaining rights in higher education communities across the country The list would encourage reform and warn prospective faculty staff and students that the institutions listed might not provide acceptable working environments Although many issues must be settled before we could move forward with such a plan it is possible to suggest some preliminary steps A committee would have to evaluate reports of unacceptable bargaining practices It would need to have some staff support and be able to gather information and input from all parties to a dispute though in many instances independent agencies like the National Labor Relations Board would have already decided that labor practices there were unfair In that case our union would focus on publicizing antiunion hostility The committee could seek however to resolve conflicts before adding an institution s name to the list Membership on the committee need not be limited to AAUP members though that is a matter for discussion Some formal process could take place at the annual meeting ranging from a vote by the executive committee of the Collective Bargaining Congress to list an institution to issuance of press releases by the full congress Once formed the committee would need to draft and seek wide agreement on a detailed statement of principles identifying the practices that would justify inclusion on the warning list Case review procedures would also be drafted and disseminated We would need mechanisms to ensure that the committee had sufficient independence to be insulated from political pressures to add institutions to the list Simply bargaining aggressively

    Original URL path: http://www.aaup.org/article/president-bad-faith-bargaining (2016-02-13)
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  • Don’t Mourn, Organize | AAUP
    thoroughgoing decentralization means that they are left to the whim of departments In 2008 when I visited the University of South Carolina Columbia the state s flagship public institution graduate students repeatedly expressed frustration that there was no centralized grievance procedure for them Many had received a brief appointment letter in their first year but no written communication or guarantee thereafter Their only appeal was to the very departmental administrators responsible for indifferent management Graduate student assistants lacked basic benefits such as tuition waivers or adequately funded health care and the administration felt free to increase tuition without a compensatory increase in assistants salaries Predictably the administration also felt free to reduce the total number of funded assistantships in 2009 For many years the graduate employee organizing movement has been impelled by the now multigenerational recognition that the promise of a tenure track career offers poor compensation and miserable working conditions Consenting to seven to ten years in wage slavery as the necessary precondition for liberation is no longer rational if this simply precedes a still lower salary as an adjunct faculty member The only thing the PhD now reliably confers is the potential for lifetime poverty and underemployment The recession has further worsened these conditions In 2009 one of my talented graduate students went on two campus visits for tenure track jobs following successful preliminary interviews at our discipline s annual convention Both departments told her that she was their first choice and that she should expect to hear from them officially in one week The official calls that came were to tell her that both searches were canceled The 2010 job market may well be worse And with universities now eliminating part time positions alternative academic options are disappearing quickly New Standards It is time to eliminate the rampant abuses in graduate education It is time for graduate student employees to organize for collective bargaining on every campus where they are able to do so We need to think of graduate student employment as a coherent seven to ten year job one that might not be followed by related employment a lifetime career or indeed any tolerable future In that context certain unconventional benefits and others winnable only through struggle need to become routine Here are five of them All graduate employees should have a percentage of their salary contributed by their employer to a nationally administered retirement fund Since many if not most new PhDs are moving on to lowwage contingent positions they need to begin establishing a retirement fund in their twenties not in their thirties or later Even modest contributions matter if they grow tax deferred for forty years Full health care coverage should be extended to all graduate employees and their spouses or partners Access to affordable health care for dependents should be universal Full participation in shared governance explicitly called for by the AAUP for graduate students since the publication of its 1999 Statement on Graduate Students should be codified on every campus that has graduate student employees Full academic freedom in teaching also called for by the AAUP but widely denied or compromised should is clarifying the relationship between departmental authority and individual academic freedom a matter of special concern to graduate employees and other contingent teachers responsible for one or more sections of a multisection course Appropriate due process rights for graduate employees nonexistent on many campuses outside collective bargaining but recommended by the AAUP s Regulation 14 should be established on every campus It will be difficult to win these rights for all graduate students and graduate employees unless a substantially higher percentage of graduate employees are represented in collective bargaining I believe we can establish what amount to national standards for all by way of collective bargaining if the percentage of graduate employees who are unionized increases from the current roughly 20 percent to a bare majority Restored to its full membership the National Labor Relations Board NLRB may reverse this year its 2004 denial of employee status to graduate students who work for their university If that occurs it may help produce a surge of recognition drives at private institutions One important feature of the AAUP s new Regulation 14 will help protect union activists our recommended policies now explicitly prohibit dismissal or nonrenewal in retaliation for participation in strikes and other job actions Of course the NLRB s current antiunion position reversed its 2000 vote recognizing that graduate students can be both students and employees depending on which role they are playing at a given point in the day The NLRB has jurisdiction only over private universities but clearing the way for rapid organizing campaigns at a few elite private institutions would have a significant ripple effect even at public universities Other impediments remain The most serious one is not the obvious turnover of graduate employee cohorts though this is a powerful factor in remarkable multigenerational campaigns at places like the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign New York University and Yale University but rather the disinformation campaigns often run by antagonistic administrations Prounion faculty need to help graduate students by exposing and resisting those campaigns more aggressively And faculty who recognize their moral and professional responsibilities to lower paid workers need to encourage graduate employee organizing Meanwhile the consequences of the recession will likely generate still more organizing campaigns Achieving 51 percent union representation for graduate student employees will be a substantial challenge but the struggle will have wide benefits Indeed the AAUP s revised Regulation 14 partly represents what we have learned from surveying graduate employee collective bargaining contracts it recommends extending the best provisions of those contracts to graduate student workers everywhere Even campuses not eligible for collective bargaining will match better working conditions if competition and local advocacy demand it For example because the University of South Carolina has an active graduate student association its members were able to gain both national and local attention for their plight As a result some progress

    Original URL path: http://www.aaup.org/article/don%E2%80%99t-mourn-organize (2016-02-13)
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  • “A Welcome Debate” over Labor Reform | AAUP
    is filed There s talk of speeding it up to say seven days or ten days If that happens we re obviously going to have to change all of our procedures which is going to require a certain amount of work The bill also provides for stiffer remedies in the case of discharging people during an organizing campaign or for refusing to bargain in good faith during negotiations for the first contract All of these measures may increase the role of the NLRB in organizing situations so we could expect that our caseload would increase This might reverse the trend of the last few decades during which unions have I think become disenchanted with the board s processes The unions argue that because elections can be drawn out employers are able to engage in antiunion campaigns between the filing of the petition and the actual election Warren Let s turn to academic labor We ve had a string of decisions that affect the right of workers in the private sector to organize starting with the U S Supreme Court s Yeshiva decision NLRB v Yeshiva University in 1980 that faculty are managerial employees through the NLRB s 2006 decision on Oakwood Health Care Inc that again expanded the notion of who a supervisor is What do you think about that particular trend and where do you see it heading in academic labor Liebman I certainly see the trend in business probably including universities toward more flexible employment relationships That is likely to continue as the economy picks up and as jobs are created again In terms of the trends of the law Yeshiva is a Supreme Court decision that s nearly thirty years old and we re stuck with it And we re stuck with the statutory language which goes back to 1935 and 1947 when the employment relationship and the nature of the workplace were obviously very different from what they are today But in my view and my dissenting opinions on these issues certainly made this clear we should be giving these definitions a more dynamic interpretation for example who is an employee who is a supervisor taking into account or adapting to the vast changes in the model of the workplace Warren We re looking at the graduate labor organizing landscape for this issue of Academe Let s go back to the 2004 Brown University case You wrote the dissent which described the majority s decision as being woefully out of touch with contemporary academic reality I d love for you to talk about what you were thinking at the time and whether you see that changing Liebman The university of course was arguing that graduate teaching assistants didn t really have an employment relationship with the university they had a student relationship or an educational relationship and therefore shouldn t be entitled to organize for collective bargaining The majority did not find that graduate teaching assistants did not meet the statutory definition of an employee only

    Original URL path: http://www.aaup.org/article/%E2%80%9C-welcome-debate%E2%80%9D-over-labor-reform (2016-02-13)
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  • Collective Bargaining | AAUP
    Home Collective Bargaining Singing All the Way to the Union University of Chicago students don t lose themselves in old protest songs they find themselves by creating a new public sphere Read more about Singing All the Way to the Union The Antiunion Devil in the Details FAR4 a new graduate fellowship package is a far cry from a decent labor contract Read more about The Antiunion Devil in the Details Occupy and Escalate Graduate students should occupy not just buildings but also disciplinary and professional organizations Read more about Occupy and Escalate Reeling In the Years The history of the oldest graduate student union in the country teaches how to fuse bread and butter issues and social justice Read more about Reeling In the Years To the Power of Many On the importance of faculty committing not just to supporting graduate students but also to organizing themselves Read more about To the Power of Many Health Center Unionizes with the AAUP The medical faculty at the University of Connecticut Health Center voted this week to unionize This marks the first time that faculty at a freestanding medical school have voted to unionize They will be represented by a chapter of the AAUP The faculty at the health center is composed of physicians research scientists dentists teaching faculty and research faculty These faculty members perform a variety of jobs including patient care dental care scientific research and the training of future physicians in both classroom and clinical environments Read more about Health Center Unionizes with the AAUP Victory for Suffolk Part Time Faculty Chapter The Suffolk Affiliated Faculty collective bargaining chapter SAF AAUP laid claim to an important victory when it submitted a letter to the Suffolk University administration noting that the chapter had met the requirements needed to activate

    Original URL path: http://www.aaup.org/import-tags/collective-bargaining?page=1 (2016-02-13)
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  • Collective Bargaining | AAUP
    favor of unionization The new faculty union will include tenured and tenure track as well as full time non tenure track faculty members at BGSU s two northwest Ohio campuses Read more about Bowling Green Faculty Vote for AAUP Union Emerson College Part Time Faculty Union Achieves Fair Share This provision will provide the resources necessary for the AFEC AAUP chapter to more effectively represent part time faculty and enforce their contract Read more about Emerson College Part Time Faculty Union Achieves Fair Share AAUP Union Chapter Wins Fair Share The Emerson College AAUP chapter which represents the part time faculty in collective bargaining scored a decisive victory in the fall when it announced that it had met the deadline to achieve the 58 percent membership required to trigger the fair share provision of its latest contract The chapter called the Affiliated Faculty of Emerson College achieved 66 5 percent membership among nearly 220 part time faculty members almost 10 percent more than necessary to activate fair share Read more about AAUP Union Chapter Wins Fair Share Academic Professionals To Conduct Survey At a recent meeting of the AAUP s Committee on Academic Professionals Vijay Nair president of the AAUP s Connecticut State University chapter related a story from early in his career Nair who had left New York for a librarian position in a midwestern university was taken to lunch by his new supervisor and told that you don t have any rights here It wasn t long before Nair returned east to Connecticut where he enjoyed the benefit of having rights bargained collectively by his AAUP chapter Read more about Academic Professionals To Conduct Survey Summer Institute Click here to see photos from the 2011 Summer Institute Read more about Summer Institute Decision Shows Why Arbitration is Important

    Original URL path: http://www.aaup.org/import-tags/collective-bargaining?page=2 (2016-02-13)
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  • Collective Bargaining | AAUP
    the Editor Waiting for Norma Rae The two main characters in Samuel Beckett s most famous play have been the subject of much speculation One eminent scholar noted that Vladimir and Estragon sounded as if they had earned PhDs How do you know they hadn t Beckett the provocateur replied Read more about From the Editor Waiting for Norma Rae Faculty Activism Alive and Well in Ohio Faced with some of the most drastic antiunion legislation in the country faculty in Ohio joined forces this spring with other workers and unions in a coalition We Are Ohio determined to win back workers rights in the state The coalition led a successful effort to place the legislation known as S B 5 on November s ballot for a referendum Read more about Faculty Activism Alive and Well in Ohio From The President I Want to Be a Member of a Faculty Union Because 1 The faculty must be organized to advocate for its professional values principles and responsibilities including its support for student rights 2 The community would benefit from much wider and more organized faculty participation in campus life 3 A faculty union can forge effective alliances between faculty members and other employee groups on campus and in the community Read more about From The President I Want to Be a Member of a Faculty Union Because Faculty Forum Ways to Organize Non Tenure Track Faculty Lecturers adjuncts instructors postdocs visiting professors graduate student teachers and others in non tenure track positions now constitute the great majority of faculty in US higher education But many college and university policies were written decades ago and barely acknowledge the existence of faculty like me who work in contingent appointments Read more about Faculty Forum Ways to Organize Non Tenure Track Faculty Angela

    Original URL path: http://www.aaup.org/import-tags/collective-bargaining?page=3 (2016-02-13)
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  • Collective Bargaining | AAUP
    Read more about University of Oregon Faculty Launch Union Campaign AAUP Statement on Indiana Right to Work Law The AAUP stands behind the right of all employee groups to decide for themselves whether to bargain collectively Read more about AAUP Statement on Indiana Right to Work Law Historic Michigan Campaign Under Way A victory for this high profile group of academic employees would be a victory for every cohort of unrepresented research assistants across the country Read more about Historic Michigan Campaign Under Way Academic Leaders to Testify in Favor of Faculty Collective Bargaining Rights The AAUP has long held that faculty members and graduate employees at public and private institutions are entitled to choose whether to engage in collective bargaining Read more about Academic Leaders to Testify in Favor of Faculty Collective Bargaining Rights Higher Ed Leaders Express Support for Collective Bargaining in Oregon On behalf of more than 63 000 collectively organized instructional and research employees at flagship and research university systems across the country thirteen higher education leaders have written a letter supporting the campaign for collective bargaining at the University of Oregon Tags Collective Bargaining University of Oregon Read more about Higher Ed Leaders Express Support for Collective Bargaining in Oregon Faculty at the University of Oregon One Step Closer to Forming a Union Update The University of Oregon administration objected to the faculty s decision to unionize Read more about Faculty at the University of Oregon One Step Closer to Forming a Union Agreement on Faculty Union at University of Oregon Update April 27 2012 United Academics of the University of Oregon AAUP AFT AFL CIO is officially certified Read more about Agreement on Faculty Union at University of Oregon New Faculty Union at University of Oregon This spring faculty members at the University of

    Original URL path: http://www.aaup.org/import-tags/collective-bargaining?page=4 (2016-02-13)
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