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TAUP FAQs About Adjunct Organization

 

 

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TAUP/TU Tentative Collective Bargaining Agreement 2014-2018

 

 

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April 6, 2015

2015 Election of Officers, Executive Committee Members, and Delegates

On February 2, the TAUP office sent you an e-Bulletin requesting nominations for candidates to run for office as President, Vice President, Treasurer, Executive Committee Members and Delegates.  The 2015 TAUP Nominating Committee also sought members to run for these positions.   As of the deadline for nominations, one candidate came forward to stand for election for each open position.

Article I of the TAUP Bylaws prescribes the union’s election procedures. Section 3 (Ballot and Voting), Paragraph (b) states:

For officers and delegates, if there are only as many candidates as there are open positions, the mail ballot will be foregone and the candidates will be considered elected.  For Executive Committee members, if there are only as many nominees as there are open positions, and if all open positions are for full three-year terms, the mail ballot procedure will be foregone and the nominees will be considered elected.

Since the current election process met these conditions, there was no need for balloting this year.

The following people were nominated and have been elected:

1.   Officers: for a term of 2 years, from May 1, 2015, to April 30, 2017.

President                             Arthur Hochner                              FSBM/HRM
Vice President                   Steve Newman                                 CLA/English
Treasurer                             Norma Corrales-Martin               CLA/Spanish and Portuguese

2.   Executive Committee Members:

Five 3-year positions on the Executive Committee - from May 1, 2015 to April 30, 2018:

•      Norma Corrales-Martin          CLA/Spanish and Portuguese
•      Patricia Hansell                        CLA/Anthropology
•      William Newman                     CLA/Economics
•      Karen Palter                               CST/Biology
•      Donald Wargo                           CLA/Economics

3.   Delegates: Five 1-year positions: from May 1, 2015, to April 30, 2016, to represent the TAUP at the AFTPA, Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO and other affiliates’ meetings:

•      Fred Rowland                            Paley Library
•      Bruce Rader                               FSBM/Finance
•      Joyce Lindorff                            BCMD/Keyboard
•      Karen Palter                               CST/Biology
•      Damien Stankiewicz               CLA/Anthropology

Congratulations to all those elected!

 

April 1, 2015

 TAUP FAQs About Adjunct Unionization

TAUP is concerned that misconceptions, misinformation, and false impressions are being spread among some members of our bargaining unit about the reasons for and the process of unionizing adjuncts.  While we have already answered many questions and concerns, we’re offering the following FAQs as a handy way to understand what is going on and why.  Of course, if you want more information, please contact us at taupaft@aol.com; 1-7641, or ahochner@gmail.com; 215-704-6990.

  1. Why is TAUP seeking to represent adjuncts?
  2. Why do adjuncts want union representation?
  3. Can full-time faculty and part-time/adjunct faculty be in the same union?
  4. Should full-time faculty and part-time/adjunct faculty be in the same union?
  5. What does it mean to “accrete” the adjuncts into the existing bargaining unit?
  6. What is the PLRB hearing for?
  7. Will any gains that adjuncts make in collective bargaining come at the expense of the interests of full-time faculty?
  8. Under decentralized budgeting (i.e., responsibility centered management or RCM) will colleges and schools have to cut expenses elsewhere if the pay and benefits of adjuncts were to go up?
  9. With about 1,300 adjuncts and about 1,400 full-time faculty members, would adjuncts automatically change the focus of TAUP away from the interests of full-time faculty?
  10. Why is the Temple administration resisting having adjuncts in TAUP?
  11. What if I have any other questions or concerns about how adjuncts organizing can affect me?

Why is TAUP seeking to represent adjuncts?

The overwhelming majority of adjunct faculty at Temple University want to join TAUP!  The use of contingent faculty, i.e., NTTs and adjuncts, to staff courses has risen in the past several years, and will likely continue to increase.  As advocates for the importance of both quality research and quality instruction here at Temple, TAUP believes that our adjunct colleagues need both resources and respect on the job to be effective.  They are currently the only eligible employees on campus without union representation, and the time has come for a change.  

Why do adjuncts want union representation?

The vast majority of Temple University’s adjunct professors want union representation because without a union adjunct faculty do not have a protected voice at the University, nor are they able to negotiate over the terms and conditions of their jobs, unlike ALL other faculty at Temple University.  The adjunct faculty want to have greater job security, a protected voice, and the ability to negotiate higher pay.  That’s what they want; and it’s what we, their full-time colleagues, want for ALL faculty.

We are saddened, though not surprised, that the administration does not seem to want these conditions for adjuncts due to their misunderstanding of how best to serve Temple.  Instead, Temple is engaging in scare tactics and a well-worn strategy of trying to divide the faculty, spending a significant amount of Temple’s time and money in the process.   

Can full-time faculty and part-time/adjunct faculty be in the same union?

Yes, and it’s a well-established practice in Pennsylvania as well as across the country.

Under Pennsylvania labor law, the same union represents both adjuncts and full-time faculty in the 14 state-owned universities, and several community colleges, including Bucks County C.C., Montgomery County C.C., and C.C. of Philadelphia.  At CCP, the adjuncts are part of a bargaining unit with full-time “visiting lecturers” (like our NTTs at Temple).  That bargaining unit and the unit representing tenure-track faculty at CCP are part of the same union, and they coordinate their contract negotiations.

Should full-time faculty and part-time/adjunct faculty be in the same union?

Yes!

Both full-time and adjunct faculty teach many of the same courses, in the same curriculum, in the same classrooms, with the same requirements, and under the same overall policies.  They have similar educational backgrounds, including many of our adjunct faculty possessing terminal degrees, publications, service to their students, and years of teaching experience.  Differences exist in how full-time faculty and adjuncts are compensated, i.e., in pay and benefits, in grievance procedures and some of the other factors.  However, there are significant overlaps between full-time bargaining unit members and adjunct faculty, which is why the PLRB routinely establishes bargaining units of full-time and part-time faculty.

Because it is educationally sound and because of precedence under labor law, TAUP filed for an accretion election (this would allow eligible adjunct faculty to vote as to whether to unionize with TAUP or not). 

Instead of agreeing to a fair and timely election, Temple has decided to litigate the similarities between full and part-time faculty’s instructional duties, costing untold thousands of dollars and denying over 1,300 adjunct faculty the right to vote.

What does it mean to “accrete” the adjuncts into the existing bargaining unit?

The adjuncts seek to be added or accreted to the TAUP bargaining unit.  When a small number of employees seek accretion to an existing bargaining unit, no election is needed.  But when the number represents a large accretion, the PLRB requires an election among the employees who would be added.

TAUP currently represents all full-time faculty in Boyer College of Music and Dance, College of Public Health, School of Social Work, College of Liberal Arts, School of Environmental Design, College of Science and Technology, Division of Theater and Film and Media Arts, College of Education, College of Engineering, Fox School of Business and Management, School of Pharmacy, School of Media and Communication, School of Tourism & Hospitality Management, and the Tyler School of Art.  A vast majority of adjunct faculty signed authorization cards to join TAUP and on December 17, 2014, we filed the petition with the PLRB seeking to accrete adjunct faculty in those schools.

What is the PLRB hearing for?

The PLRB hearing is dealing mainly with Temple administration’s objections to an accretion election for the adjuncts into TAUP’s bargaining unit.  Those objections include Temple’s claims that the adjunct faculty do not have an identifiable community of interest with full-time faculty and other professionals in the TAUP bargaining unit; that the interests of full-time and adjunct faculty actually conflict; most insulting, that educated faculty were unclear about which union they would join.

Will any gains that adjuncts make in collective bargaining come at the expense of the interests of full-time faculty?

 

We have heard that some deans and administrators say any gains for adjuncts would come out of the pockets of full-time faculty.  Our experience provides no reason to believe that is true.  TAUP has been able to negotiate for both NTT and tenure-track faculty, representing both groups’ interests, even when those interests are different.  For instance, when TAUP and Temple negotiated the most recent contract, covering 2014-2018, we increased pension benefits for NTT faculty.  That provision did not reduce the benefits enjoyed by tenure-track faculty; in fact, all faculty received healthy raises, and we increased transparency and protections for faculty coming up for tenure, among other gains.  One reason we are disappointed by the administration’s hard-line position against adjuncts’ unionizing is that the most recent negotiations were intense but conducted in a spirit of mutual respect, leading to a contract that was good for everybody at Temple. 

Under decentralized budgeting (i.e., responsibility centered management or RCM) will colleges and schools have to cut expenses elsewhere if the pay and benefits of adjuncts were to go up?

RCM is set up to encourage schools and colleges to balance their revenues and expenses.  But it is not intended to be a straightjacket.  President Theobald has said many times that RCM has to fit the institution, not the other way around.  Adjustments to college budgets may have to be made if adjunct unionization increases costs.  The budget should not be looked at as a fixed pie or a zero-sum game.  The priorities of all levels of the university have to be kept in mind.  Budgetary discipline is a means, not an end goal of Temple.

With about 1,300 adjuncts and about 1,400 full-time faculty members, would adjuncts automatically change the focus of TAUP away from the interests of full-time faculty?

Bargaining for and representing more than 2,700 faculty will strengthen our union.  There is no reason to believe that adjuncts would take over and cause the union to downplay the interests of full-time faculty; instead, representation from all types of faculty—full-time and part-time—will make our voice stronger.  The experience of other AFT locals representing both groups shows a great deal of cooperation, and strengthening the union by no longer being pitted against each other. 

TAUP has much experience balancing the interests of the various types of professionals it represents - tenure-track faculty, NTT faculty, and non-faculty librarians and academic professionals.  About 15 years ago, NTTs constituted approximately 18% of the full-time faculty and were largely limited to a maximum of seven years’ service.  Now, NTTs make up about 45% of the full-time faculty and have no limit on their service.  TAUP has negotiated improvements for NTTs, but at the same time has strongly represented tenure-track faculty.  During this time span, for instance, TAUP negotiated for a real sabbatical program and for stronger procedures and protections in the tenure and promotion process.

Approximately one-half of our Executive Committee and a third of our officers are NTTs.  We also have representation from librarians.  Our leadership is a vibrant representation of the Temple academic community and with adjuncts joining TAUP, we will continue to be able to speak with and for all faculty.  It is vital for all groups of faculty to be together rather than being pitted against each other by the administration.  We are stronger together than we ever would be apart.

Why is the Temple administration resisting having adjuncts in TAUP?

Temple administration has given technical and legal reasons for their objections to accretion, claiming that adjuncts and full-time faculty do not share a community of interest, among other claims.  Even more insidious, the administration has questioned TAUP’s motives, saying that we are elevating our own interests above those of both full-time and adjunct faculty.  Thus, the University is ignoring the wishes of the majority of the adjunct faculty who want to join TAUP.  The administration has not been forthcoming about their own interests in resisting the wishes of the great majority of adjuncts.  Instead, their lawyers bullied and attacked adjunct faculty who testified about their jobs, their commitment to Temple’s students, and their desire to join TAUP and negotiate for a quality education for their students.

Hasn’t Temple administration taken steps to deal with adjunct issues and concerns?

About a year ago, Temple announced a general increase in the minimum pay per credit hour for adjuncts.  They set up a few meetings with some adjuncts to discuss their thoughts on why it would be bad for adjunct faculty to organize; however, they offered no concrete solutions. Without a contract, adjunct faculty have no guarantee of continued employment, or a salary that can increase along with growing expenses.  The administration says that individual adjuncts can accomplish more for themselves by directly dealing with the administration than they can by uniting under union representation, a claim a majority of the adjunct faculty do not believe.

What if I have any other questions or concerns about how adjuncts organizing can affect me?

Please contact Art Hochner, President of TAUP (ahochner@gmail.com).

Click here for: TAUP/TU Tentative Collective Bargaining Agreement 2014-2018

American Federation of Teachers Local # 4531 AFL-CIO
1900 N.13th Street Barton Hall Room A231 Philadelphia PA 19122-6013
215-763-2287 - 215-204-7641 - E-Mail TAUP

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