Frequently Asked Questions About Forming An Adjunct Union

Why should I get involved with an adjunct union when I don’t know if I’ll be teaching here in a year?

If not you, then who? Adjuncts who are currently employed at Temple and Philadelphia University have a vote over whether they and future generations of adjuncts get to have a meaningful voice in determining their pay and working conditions. Also, any improvements we can make here can serve to raise standards for adjuncts at other institutions across the country.

Will the union make me go on strike?

Strikes are ALWAYS a last resort, and such an action would require a democratic vote of the membership. Short of striking, there is an array of tactics we can use to put pressure on the Temple administration to settle a good contract, without threatening the external funding that supports us.

How much are union dues?

Union dues are set by a democratic vote of the membership. UAP dues are $11/month and will be charged once we win an election at Philadelphia University.

What can the union guarantee me?

There are no guarantees, except that as a group we will get a seat at the table with administration to negotiate a contract. We can propose the changes we’d like to see in the job and preserve the things we currently like and, unlike now, the administration will have to negotiate with us over changes they want to make in our salaries and benefits.

Will my present job be put in jeopardy if I vote yes or no?

Organizing and supporting a union is a legally protected activity. It is illegal for any college–Temple University or Philadelphia University–to discriminate against an employee in terms of hiring, firing, layoffs or promotions because of their union activity. If you feel this has occurred, please contact the union office immediately.

What is the UAP?

United Academics of Philadelphia, American Federation of Teacher’s (AFT) Local 9608 is an organization that seeks to unify and support the nearly 15,000 adjunct instructors currently working in Philadelphia-area colleges. As a vital but often underrepresented element of higher education, UAP believes that together adjuncts can accomplish what cannot achieve as individuals.  To ensure respect, security, fair pay and benefits from our institutions of employment, UAP is advocating for the unionization of adjuncts at Philadelphia-area colleges. Members from colleges and universities across the region with and without collective bargaining agreements are becoming members of UAP.

What is the AFT?
The American Federation of Teachers is a union that represents more than 1.3 million professionals in higher education, health care, public employment and K-12 school districts across the country. Representing more than 200,000 professionals in the country, 100,000 who are contingent faculty, makes the AFT the largest union in higher education. For more information, check out http://www.reclaimhighered.org/ and http://www.aft.org

Teach at Temple University? What is TAUP?

The Temple Association of University Professionals (TAUP) is a local of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT local 4531) who currently represents the approximately 1400 full-time faculty, professional librarians and academic professionals at Temple University in Pennsylvania. TAUP hopes to include and represent the adjunct faculty who teach the same students and contribute to Temple’s mission.

TAUP has been negotiating for Temple’s full-time faculty since 1973. The collective bargaining agreement covers salaries, merit pay, benefits, retirement, working conditions, and faculty rights. The contract guarantees faculty participation in formulating University educational policy. It sets standards and procedures governing tenure and promotion. It allocates paid leaves for research and study for tenured and untenured faculty. It insures faculty election of department chairs, as well as protects academic freedom and faculty governance.

Why should adjuncts vote to join the in the same union as full-timers?

We are stronger when ALL faculty come together and negotiate as a collective voice about the teaching conditions of Temple University. While there are different professional priorities between contingent and tenured faculty, we have a greater number of concerns of mutual interest. As such, being part of the same bargaining unit has many advantages for all of us.

 

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