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Who are we? We are the non-tenure track instructional faculty at Michigan State University affiliated with AFT-Michigan. We teach for-credit and other required courses all over campus. We are more than 550 professionals who organized a union and have ratified two contracts to establish a systematic way to improve our job security, health care, benefits, and wages.
Why a union? We believe the only way to make significant change is to act collectively. Through our combined strength, we have the right to negotiate with the administration in a unified voice.
The increased dependence of universities on so-called contingent or temporary faculty has spread widely in recent years, and the movement to improve the careers of these employees has followed closely. In Michigan alone, groups of non-tenure track faculty have organized with AFT at Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Central Michigan University, and Western Michigan University. In all these cases, union members have made significant improvements in job security, salary, and other issues.
What do we hope to see in our next contract? The common concerns we hear from colleagues are job security, health insurance, and wages. These are the very issues that we can address through organizing our colleagues into a stronger union and negotiating with the university administration again in 2022.
How can you get involved? The first step is becoming a member by checking the box ‘I wish to become a member of UNTF’ on the authorization for payroll deduction card and returning it via mail to the UNTF office or emailing a signed version to firstname.lastname@example.org. Becoming a member indicates your support for collective bargaining and gives you a voice in setting the organization’s priorities. It allows you the right to vote and impacts your union as a whole by giving us more clout with the university. Because we are a member-driven organization, we need your involvement! Find out more about volunteer opportunities here.