UUP Yours––Some Part-timers Unhappy with Tentative Union Contract

New York’s United University Professions (UUP) recently reached a tentative agreement on behalf of its members. UUP is affiliated with the New York State United Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. Evidently, leaders mailed this FAQ sheet about the tentative contract to its membership of some 34,000 (8,000 part-timers).

Some of the UUP’s part-time faculty are unhappy with the tentative pact. The current contract guarantees minimum salaries to all of the UUP’s members except the part-time faculty. Part-time faculty UUP members are left to negotiate for themselves on a campus-by-campus basis. This doesn’t change under the proposed agreement.

A further look at the UUP FAQ shows that so-called “location stipends”–extra money to faculty who live and teach in areas of the state where the cost-of-living is higher–go to full-time faculty only. For someone living in Queens, for instance, the location stipend will boost her/his pay by an extra $3,026.

Finally, according to the FAQ, union leaders negotiated the same percentage salary increases for part-timers as they did for full-timers (13.6 percent over the life of the multi-year agreement). The problem with doing this, of course, is that part-time salaries are a fraction of those guaranteed in the proposed contract as minimums payable to the union’s full-time faculty members. In essence, UUP leaders negotiated a salary increase in dollars for full-time faculty that amounts to ten times what a part-time faculty member will receive. In order for the salary increases to have been truly equal, UUP officials would have negotiated part-time faculty a much larger percentage increase. Negotiating an equal percentage guarantees that UUP’s part-time members will never reach salary parity with the union’s full-time faculty members. This is a common trick union leaders pull on their part-time members. If the percentages negotiated are the same, well then, who can complain?

This was done by union officials regardless of the fact that, in 2006, part-time faculty within the UUP formed the Coalition for Contingent Faculty (CCF). The CCF’s webpage contains this bit of info:

“Among the specific proposals that CCF has put forward are… proposals that were unanimously endorsed on September 30, 2006, by the UUP’s statewide Part-Time Concerns Committee and by the union’s full Delegate Assembly. The first of those proposals approved by UUP members was:

‘Be it resolved, that the Part-Time Concerns Committee recommends the following to the Negotiations Committee for inclusion in the package of demands for the next Agreement between UUP and the State of New York:

1. Include a system of statewide salary minima for all part-time employees based on the negotiated minima for full-time employees….'”

 

So, UUP leaders not only ignored the will of the Delegate Assembly, and did not negotiate minimum salaries for their 8000 part-time members, they negotiated a significantly smaller raise for the part-timers.

Part-timers should tell UUP leaders loudly and clearly that their 8,000 colleagues represented by UUP deserve better than this. Join me and send an email to UUP Acting Vice President for Academics, Dr. Kenneth D. Kallio, and tell him UUP’s part-time faculty don’t deserve raises that are a fraction of those negotiated for full-timers. UUP’s Acting President, Dr. Frederick Floss is an economist. Go figure, Fred.

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1 Comments

  1. What makes this situation worse is that UUP actively solicited input from those few of its part-time members who could spare the time for union activity, then either ignored or held short of fighting for those suggestions. And, as elsewhere throughout the nation, this full-time-dominated union has turned adjunct-rights issues into a push for “more full-time faculty,” one of its declared priorities — essentially addressing inequities by replacing the long-abused while leaving unchanged the working conditions of those part-timers lucky enough to keep their tenuous, poorly paid jobs.

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