300 Adjuncts Gain Union Protections, Paths to Promotion and Sabbatical, New Titles
The new faculty union contract at the University of Oregon initiated a one-time reclassification process for adjunct faculty. The result is major gains for some 300 faculty, or 73 % of adjuncts, who have new rights under the contract and a new title “Career Non-Tenure-Track Faculty” or “Career NTTF.” While these faculty members’ pay is still tied to their course load (FTE percentage), their faculty union has secured for them some important workplace protections that adjuncts and non-tenure track employees are often denied at non-unionized campuses.
Career NTT faculty at Oregon are now guaranteed written notice of appointment or non-reappointment by May 1 each year. The administration must justify any non-renewal decision in writing. After a certain number of years of service, Career NTT faculty can earn promotion and be offered two- or three-year contracts. Sabbaticals are to be made available to faculty at 0.5 FTE and higher in senior ranks. In addition, all faculty (whether full or part-time) are covered by the bargaining unit, and so all gain the workplace non-discrimination protections provided by the contract.
These steps are just a start, and important work lies ahead in continuing to raise the standards for NTT faculty and researchers. At Illinois, we are inspired by the example of the dedicated union members at the University of Oregon. Go Ducks!