Your Contract, Your Voice
Starting this spring, the Union of Nontenure Track Faculty (UNTF) Bargaining Team will be negotiating the conditions of your employment for the next four years. Currently, we have identified salary, workload and our grievance procedure as key areas of focus. However, in order to make our contract as representative as possible, we want to hear from as many of our members as possible to make sure everyone’s employment situation is accounted for. If you are a member, please make your voice heard. If you’re not a member, you can sign up on our membership tab!
Looking for the right way to approach your colleagues or students about the Union?
Bargaining Our Contract
Every four years, UNTF representatives sit down with representatives from the university to set the terms of employment for MSU’s non-tenure track faculty, including such issues as minimum salary, retirement match, and healthcare coverage. Our members are appointed on fixed-term contracts, and bargaining is the only way for us to sit down with the University and negotiate with one voice.
MSU began to hire and then kept hiring non-tenure track faculty to keep salary costs down while maintaining quality of education. While the Union is sympathetic to the budgetary constraints of the University, our members have proven to be excellent educators, and we believe that all of them should earn enough to afford a middle-class standard of living, with salaries in line with non-tenure track faculty at MSU’s peer institutions.
Simply put, MSU’s administrative structure and HR policies were not built with non-tenure track faculty in mind, but with the assumption that tenured and tenure-track faculty would be the primary educators. Circumstances have changed, but MSU’s policies have not. UNTF is asking that each college take the time to publish clear workload definitions and policies to ensure that our members know what is expected of them and clear guidelines for compensation for extra work they do (overload pay). Clear workload guidelines will also remove ambiguities in some departments surrounding expectations going into yearly performance evaluations.
MSU has a large legal department, always on standby, and can process workplace violations incredibly quickly. In contrast, UNTF is a small, volunteer-run local union, and when one of our members comes to us with a possible violation of our Collective Bargaining Agreement, we are not always able to work at the speed our current agreement requires. Thus, we are asking that our grievance process be changed to better reflect the reality of our working conditions. The grievance process is something that only comes into play when there is a violation of our Collective Bargaining Agreement. Violations are bad for both our members and the University. In general, the fact that we have overlapping grievance incentives works out to everyone’s advantage. But sometimes, we do have a strong disagreement with the University, and the only way to protect our members is to have a strong grievance process.
Stay tuned for more info as we near bargaining and keep up with us on social media in the meantime!