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.
Summary of the 2018-2022 UNTF Contract
Merit pool raises will be 1.5% in 2018, 1.5% in 2019, 2.0% in 2020, and 2.0% in 2021.
Effective October 1, 2018, an increase to the minimums of the ranks of Lecturer, Assistant Instructor, Instructor and Specialist to $35,000 for Academic Year appointments and $42,778 for an Annual Year appointment. An increase to the minimums of the rank of Assistant Professor to $45,000 for Academic Year appointments and $55,000 for an Annual Year appointment.
Minimum salaries will increase 1.5% in 2019, 2.0% in 2020, and 2.0% in 2021.
In this contract, the Union concentrated on raising minimum salaries and on addressing the situation of some members for whom the raise to the minimum salary was more than their merit raise, with the result that experienced and meritorious faculty were getting no more than new faculty who were being hired at the minimum. To address this, the new contract includes a $60,000 pool that will be distributed to members who are in this situation as of September of 2018. The pool will be distributed to these members in proportion to their merit raises in the previous four years and will added to the new base salaries as described above.
The new contract reduces to 8 the number of teaching semesters required to be eligible for Designation B status, and it increases to 7 the number of years in which a member can accumulate those semesters.
The new contract also includes a $1,000 raise in base pay for faculty who achieve Designation B status under the new contract.
The enrollment period in which members can enroll for benefits has been changed to 30 days from the 60 days allowed in the old contract. The University insists that this brings the contract into compliance with common practices.
The time allowed for the filing of grievances has also been reduced to 14 days from the 21 days of the old contract.
Release Time for the UNTF President
The new contract allows the UNTF President a one-class paid release per semester. This will enhance the efficiency of the union and reduce the need for paid staff.
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. 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.