How to join
To become a full member of UNTF, simply fill out your member card and check the YES box here:
You can return your card to us in one of three ways: print it and mail it to us at 2990 E. Lake Lansing Rd. Suite 201-E, East Lansing MI 48823; scan it and email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org; or call us at (517) 203-0880 and we will arrange a time to meet you on campus and pick up your completed card!
Why become a full member?
The most important reason to join your union is because members have a voice in determining their working conditions. Members can serve on committees and as executive board members, they can attend meetings to learn more about current issues among their peers, and they can vote in UNTF elections, including the contract ratification vote. Collective bargaining helps us stand up for working conditions, job security and benefits for ALL nontenure-track faculty. By making our union strong, even those of us who are here for just one semester or one year can contribute to better standards for those who come after us!
Of course, there are other benefits to joining UNTF as well. The following are only available to full members:
- Access to the Professional Development Travel Funding program
- Access to AFT+ discounts and insurances
- One FREE year of term life insurance for new members
- A union-made, union-printed UNTF tshirt (pictured below – email email@example.com to request yours)
- A network of supportive colleagues from departments across MSU
The UNTF difference
Before our first contract, fixed-term faculty at MSU had few guarantees of equitable treatment from the university. Here are some of the gains from our first contract:
I. Job Security and Appointments
- The Union contract honors all current appointments and allows and encourages MSU to offer individuals longer appointments. An employee may be given a longer contract by his or her department at any time.
- The Union contract establishes a path to guaranteed three-year contracts (Designation B) for many members. Article 15 of the Union Contract details how Union members who have taught for at least 10 semesters (within 6 years time) can be given this designation and guaranteed a minimum of a 3 year appointment.
- Contrary to previous practice, the contract requires that, in cases of non-reappointment, MSU must give one month’s notice prior to the expiration of the current appointment and provide a rationale for the non-reappointment.
II. Performance and Evaluation
- To encourage the highest level of quality education for our students, the Union contract requires each department to establish and publish criteria for annual and major reviews to evaluate teaching performance.
III. Salary and Raises
- Faculty members at the salary minimum got an increase of 10% the first year of the Union contract.
- The Union contract establishes a merit pay pool specifically for fixed-term teaching faculty. In the past, there was no guarantee that fixed-term faculty would receive any merit increases at all; departments could simply distribute all available money to faculty on the tenure-track. The pool is distributed by each department as decided by the unit head.
In October of 2011 we gained a pool of 1.5% and the minimums increased by 1.5%.
In October of 2012 we gained a pool of 2.0% and the minimums increased by 2.0%.
In October of 2013, we gained another pool of 2.0% and the minimums increased by another 2.0%. (Note: In 2013, the merit pool for non-union faculty was 1.5%.)
- The Union contract allows departments to give individual faculty members increases in addition to these annual raises. Our contract specifies minimums only: departments are always free to pay higher than these minimum amounts, and many do.
III. Due Process and Grievance Process
- Another gain in being a part of our union is that each member is entitled to “Weingarten Rights”. This means that you have the right to be represented by a UNTF Union Representative when you feel a meeting with a superior could result in a change of your working conditions or in discipline. You do not have to meet alone, you have the right to have an advocate for you at your side.
- You have the advantage of ‘due process,’ as covered by the UNTF Contract. Any discipline must be for just cause. UNTF has the right to grieve actions that violate the Union contract and, if necessary, have an outside arbitrator decide if the Union contract was violated.
IV. Health Care and Other Benefits
- Employees who have appointments of at least 50% for 9 months or longer are entitled to enroll themselves and their dependents, including a spouse or partner, in health insurance plans during open enrollment periods.
- Eligible employees may enroll in the university retirement program. The employee contribution is 5% and the university contribution is 10%.
- If the university wishes to make any changes to these plans, they must be approved by UNTF first. That means that these plans are secure for the life of our contract.