Important Announcement From the UFF-FAU Chapter President

February 2, 2012. UFF-FAU announces new non-tenure track promotional structure approved by NTT faculty.

Dear Faculty,

The union is pleased to announce that a new non-tenure-track [NTT] promotional structure has recently been approved by NTT faculty. All faculty should be receiving a memorandum from the provost issuing general guidelines for how the criteria for the promotional structure will be determined by departments. NTT faculty will be a central part in determining these criteria. Once the criteria are established, faculty who had been hired at 2002 or earlier will be eligible to submit their materials for promotion in Fall 2012.

Issues concerning salaries and raises attached to promotions will carry over into full-book bargaining this spring. There we will suggest that promotional raises be identical to tenure-track faculty’s promotional raises: 9% after promotion to Senior Instructor and 12% after promotion to University Instructor. We will have NTT faculty on our bargaining team to represent your interests. Feel free to attend our bargaining meetings to lend support and stay informed.

It initially had been a difficult struggle to get the administration to admit the importance of NTT faculty within the university. Even forming a subcommittee concerning NTT issues seemed daunting at first. But when the meetings commenced, the union fought extremely hard regarding NTT interests throughout the process as anyone who attended can attest. Furthermore, these meetings allowed NTT faculty a platform to express themselves to administrators that they don’t often have much access to. We want to thank each and every one of NTT faculty who have been a part of this process. This is the beginning of providing NTT faculty a stronger voice within their departments, schools, colleges, and the university.

With this said, the union still strongly advocates for tenure and tenure-track positions. Tenure serves as the engine of the university by providing needed job security and academic freedom for innovative teaching and long-term research to thrive. We don’t see the advocacy for NTT faculty as opposed to the interests of tenure-track and tenured faculty. NTT faculty provide the teaching and FTE production to offset the time needed by tenure-track and tenured faculty to concentrate on research and service commitments. Yet the union understands that if faculty do not resist trends in increasingly replacing tenured faculty with NTT faculty, tenure will effectively be killed by death-of-a-thousand cuts in the future, isolating tenure to an ever-diminishing number of faculty.  We need to guard against such trends while nonetheless not neglect representing the interests of all faculty who serve the university.

Overall, a promotional structure is long overdue for NTT faculty. It belatedly recognizes the new political economy of public universities as state resources and commitments continue to dwindle. More importantly, it only begins to reward NTT faculty for stellar sustained teaching. We find the subcommittee structure an effective method in addressing faculty issues with the administration.  So: what do you want to do next and how can you help the union in doing so? We have full-book bargaining this spring and encourage all faculty to attend the meetings. We will twitter feed negotiations at: UFFFAU.

Also, if you haven’t already done so, please fill out the bargaining survey at:
http://leadernet.aft.org/surveymaker/take/survey.cfm?id=032684e6-5056-b94b-113b-2e9ea1fda3ee.
Attend Executive Committee meetings the first Friday of each month at 12:00 PM in CU 222 (Culture and Society Building). Run for union office. Contact chapter secretary Dave Lee with your self-nomination or if you are nominating others at:  dlee251348(at)bellsouth.net. At the very least, join the union. Download the attached membership form and send it to: Chris Robé, CU 214. We need to raise our membership  density above 50% before July 1, 2012 before any decertification legislation goes into effect. We are currently at about 39%. If around 110 new members join from now until July, we will reach our goal.

Best,

Chris Robé

UFF-FAU President