October Bargaining Update: Appointment and Re-appointment

In our last three sessions, we’ve continued our conversations about job security, addressing potential changes to the initial appointment and re-appointment processes that the university uses to hire and retain part-time faculty. We’ve had a great deal of open discussion about these issues and the administration’s team is taking seriously a set of options for addressing the issue of job security.

Some of the things we’ve brought to the table with regards to initial appointments are:

  • Earlier notification of potential teaching schedules
  • Compensation for late appointments
  • Compensation for last minute class cancellation

We’ve discussed with a fair amount of openness the ways that these things would be options that could meet our common interests in Efficiency, Flexibility, Stability, Respect, and Ability to plan.

We also opened up discussion about the re-appointment process, identifying ways that part-time faculty could have access to longer contracts, accrue seniority, and achieve a sense of stability in their teaching work. Our bargaining team proposed options that improve upon and perhaps will replace our current assignment rights process, such as:

  • A 3-level stepped system where part-time faculty move from initial term-based appointments, to 1-year appointments, then to 2-year appointments, then to rolling 2-year appointments.
  • The establishment of a leave of absence policy, so that a part-time faculty’s service to the university is tracked and he/she is not penalized for a term or two away from the university.
  • Assignments rights so that part-time faculty are allowed to teach courses they’ve designed.

Currently both teams are in the process of evaluating these options and their implications. Two crucial issues that have come up in our options for a new re-appointment process are evaluations of part-time faculty and promotion. In our session in early October, we established a sub-committee to work of creating a basic set of criteria for evaluations that are supportive to both faculty and the university departments they work in. We will discuss promotion and rank during a later session.

This week we had another short bargaining session where we continued to suggest and evaluate options, looking more in depth at our current contract language and creating options for enriching the nature of an adjunct appointment. We’d like to see the University acknowledge and encourage the value of part-time faculty’s input and participation in extra-instructional activities.

We will continue moving towards some tentative agreements on appointments and re-appointments next week, and at another full day session later in November, so stay tuned!