Union of Adjunct Faculty and Tutors at Manhattanville (UAFTAM)

Dear Fellow Manhattanville Adjunct Faculty and Tutors,

We are the members of the bargaining team of the Union of Adjunct Faculty and Tutors at Manhattanville writing with a status report on negotiations for our first collective bargaining agreement with Manhattanville. We welcome you back to campus. We hope it's a good year.

We began negotiations with Mville's administration a year ago, presenting many proposals designed to make the College a better place for adjunct faculty and tutors and, in turn, a better place for our students. Our proposals are based on the premise that adjunct faculty are members of the faculty, just like full time faculty, and should be treated similarly. Here are some highlights of our proposals:

*Salaries based on parity with full time salaries (equal pay for equal work)

*Benefits, such as health insurance and retirement

*An observation and evaluation policy (so there's a record of your good work, or a chance for remediation, if it's not as good as it could be)

*A reappointment policy that provides guarantees of employment (so you don't have to wonder semester to semester whether you'll be coming back)

*A seniority provision that accounts for years of service when it comes to reappointment (if, as an example, there's only one course to be taught and there's two faculty members with similar qualifications, the faculty member who has taught longer will be appointed)

*An absence policy that mirrors the full time faculty policy (if you're sick, you call the department and make arrangements for your class to be covered or canceled, without losing pay)

*A class size policy that allows you to reject an over enrollment of students in your class

*A workload policy that allows you to teach as many credits as you'd like

*A grievance procedure for resolving workplace disputes in a fair manner

(For the complete packet of proposals, please call the Union office at 212.989.3470 or send email to organize@nysutmail.org )

We have not reached agreement with administration on many of our proposals. It's clear that Manhattanville doesn't want to change the way adjunct faculty and tutors are treated. It's clear that Manhattanville likes the “come and go” nature of adjunct faculty and tutor employment. It's clear that Manhattanville doesn't consider you “faculty” as they do full time professors. It's clear that Manhattanville doesn't want to change the way adjunct faculty are compensated:

We initially proposed salaries for adjunct faculty that are based on parity with the pay of full time faculty. Essentially, we identified which work our full time faculty do that is the same work we do (teaching class, talking to students before and after class, preparing for class sessions, grading papers and exams, and so on), figured out what portion of a full time faculty member's salary goes toward that work, and arrived at a per course rate which full time faculty receive. Of course, that rate of pay is significantly larger than the rate of pay adjunct faculty currently receive. Our initial salary proposal was significantly larger than what you currently receive.

Manhattanville's counter proposal was to raise the salaries of adjunct faculty from $2100 to $2200 per course and from $2500 to $2600 per course after 10 semesters of teaching. We told them their proposal is insulting, given how hard we work, how far “above and beyond” we go in our teaching, and how much we care about our students.

On August 15 th , we presented another salary proposal in which adjunct faculty would earn $3500 per course ($4500 if you hold a terminal degree in your discipline) and after ten terms of teaching you would receive a $1000 increase per course. We proposed that adjunct faculty who teach private music lessons receive a per hour salary based on the per course salary. We proposed that tutors be paid $50 an hour.

It is a struggle to convince Mville to pay us what we deserve and to treat us how we deserve to be treated. No matter how eloquent we are at the bargaining table and how righteous our positions are, we are unable to convince them by ourselves in negotiations. We need you to be part of this.

*First, join the union by signing the attached membership form. There's strength in numbers and your membership will give us greater authority to push them to agree to our proposals.

*Second, join the bargaining team and add your expertise, your ideas, and your voice. No experience is necessary.

*Third, become part of our union by volunteering to serve as a department representative who will keep your colleagues informed about what's happening in negotiations.

How's that sound?

Please call (212.989.3470) to talk with our union representatives Julie Berman, Daniel Esakoff, and Sam Rasiotis with any comments, questions, and concerns or send an email message to organize@nysutmail.org

We look forward to your participation. We know it's the only way we'll be strong enough to make the changes we need and deserve.

In Solidarity,

Union of Adjunct Faculty and Tutors at Manhattanville Bargaining Team

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Union of Adjunct Faculty and Tutors at Manhattanville / NYSUT / AFT / NEA / AFL-CIO
339 Lafayette Street, Room 202, New York, NY 10012
phone: 212-989-3470; fax: 212-989-8154
email: organize@nysutmail.org