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Welcome, from the UNTF President

If you’re new to campus, then let me give a double welcome to you.  We look forward to keeping you company as you become better acquainted with the campus, and we hope that you come to love this University, its students and traditions as much as we do.

If you have been here for a while, then we are still glad to welcome you! We hope that you are already a full member of the UNTF and working with us to make sure the implementation of the contract language fulfills the spirit motivating it. If you are not already a full member, we encourage you to join us.

There is some confusion about the difference between being a full member and an agency fee payer. Everyone who is a member of the bargaining unit shares in the gains and protections of our contract. However, not everyone is a full-fledged member of the local. Members, who are assessed 1.6% of their teaching salary as union dues, have both privileges and duties related to the UNTF. Service (or agency) fee payers have no obligations, or opportunities, associated with the UNTF beyond coverage by the contract—and payment of 1.44% of their teaching salary to contribute to the expenses of contract negotiation and administration.

We would be delighted to have you become a full member of the UNTF. We are proud to say that we are a member-driven organization. Members are entitled to participate in the democratic decision-making of the UNTF. They vote in elections, authorize job actions and ratify collective bargaining agreements. Members have a voice in deciding the dues rate and the budget.  As officers, committee members, and stewards, members shape the public face and the private infrastructure of the local. Service fee payers are ineligible to do any of these things.

Even more importantly, UNTF membership offers an extraordinary opportunity to improve the working conditions for all fixed-term faculty at MSU, and consequently to help maintain the University’s focus on providing high-quality education to our undergraduate students. The larger our membership, the better we can represent the concerns and needs of fixed-term faculty to the MSU Administration, both right now and when we go to the table again in 2014.

You should have received a green “Authorization for Payroll Deduction” card in your employment packet. If you’ve already filled one out, great! Keep this one handy to give the next new hire in your department. If not, please fill the card out and send it to the UNTF office or email the signed version to office@untf.org . Of course, we do hope that when you fill it out, you choose the box next to “I want to join the UNTF.” You can change your status at any time by turning in a new card.  If you have not received an “Authorization for Payroll Deduction” card please contact our office at (517) 203-0880 and we will provide you with one immediately.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at marydrpenny@yahoo.com, or the UNTF office staff (office@untf.org; 517-203-0880).

Thank you for your hard work, professionalism, and dedication to your students and our educational community. We’re glad to be here with you, doing such an important and satisfying job. We look forward to working with you to achieve increased job security, compensation, and status for fixed-term faculty at Michigan State University.

In solidarity,

Penny Gardner, Ph.D.

President, UNTF

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