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Rutgers Faculty Union Succeeds in Efforts to Improve Contracts For Adjunct Professors

Non-Tenure Track Deal Caps Tense Bargaining Period Between AAUP-AFT and University Administration
Non-Tenure Track Protest Sign
A union member joins student protestors outside a Board of Governors meeting last summer. Charlie Kratovil

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Around 900 Rutgers faculty members, mostly adjuncts, also known as "non-tenure track professors," are closing a tense bargaining session over pay increases and better job titles.

The American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers (AAUP-AFT) attained several improvements for the non-tenure track professors in the latest agreement, which was recently approved by the union.

These improvements include forbidding non-renewable contracts, an increase in starting base pay to $39, 058 for the academic year, and $44,963 for the calendar year, and the changing of position titles to more respectful options.

Ann Gordon, chair of the non-tenure track (NTT) bargaining team for AAUP-AFT said, “These are enormous changes for the better in the lives of many faculty members at Rutgers."

"We have managed to swing this large ship of a university into the current and align it with the major research universities already addressing professional practice for non-tenure track faculty."

The NTT bargaining team also succeeded in getting all NTT faculty placed in a title series to promote career or promotion pathways.  This move not only provides job security, but also allows for more career advancement.

Tenure track faculty, however, will have to wait an extra year to earn tenure, thanks to a bill Governor Christie recently signed changing the minimum amount of time before professors at state universities can apply for tenure from five to six years.

The bill also allowed for tenured professors from other states to keep their tenure if they become employed at a four-year state university