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ACT-UAW–Part-Time Faculty Successor Contract Negotiations Update: Sessions 20, 21 and 22

Since our last update, The New School and representatives of ACT-UAW Local 7902 met for three negotiating sessions—on Tuesday, November 1, Thursday, November 3, and Sunday, November 6.

The bargaining teams continued discussions on non-economic proposals and now have reached tentative agreements for several of these proposals, including Personnel Files, Bulletin Boards, and Academic Freedom.

The Latest University Offers on the Table

During the sessions, the university offered a path to full-time faculty status exclusively for part-time faculty. In addition, productive work continued with respect to evaluations as well as Faculty Appointments. Conversations surrounding how part-time faculty can provide input concerning curriculum development have also taken place. 

Path to Full-Time Faculty Status–The university has offered to consider up to two full-time faculty renewable term appointment positions each year for the duration of the contract, for which the university would consider applications exclusively from part-time faculty.

Evaluations–The university has offered to provide more opportunities for part-time faculty to request more classroom observation as a tool to support part-time faculty interested in professional development. The union rejected this offer and we await some explanation as to why.  

Faculty Appointments–Last week, the university accepted the union’s proposal that annual faculty will be given every reasonable opportunity to teach revised curriculum being implemented in their Programs/Departments/Schools/Divisions. The university also offered movement on the timing of the notice and decision dates relative to faculty undergoing qualification reviews. Yesterday, the union provided a counterproposal which the university is evaluating with intent to respond as soon as possible. 

Curriculum Input–The university has offered part-time faculty a platform to have robust conversation with the university on matters, including:

  • Up to eight meetings a year with the Labor Relations team to discuss part-time faculty issues concerning curriculum
  • A meeting to hold similar discussions with university leadership 
  • One paid meeting per year to similar discussions at the department level
  • The opportunity to provide reverse feedback to the university through an anonymous survey 

Sunday marked the beginning of a week of scheduled sessions, from November 6 to November 13. At Sunday’s session, the union and the university went through a roll call of all proposals to clarify the status of each, and which side owes the next proposal. There was robust discussion about the union’s lack of response on many outstanding proposals due to what the union’s bargaining team said is its need to consult with its membership on each proposal, which has impeded progress on reaching an agreement.

The university expressed its eagerness to resolve non-economic issues so the discussion can turn to compensation and benefits. Having an appropriate amount of time to discuss and resolve these key proposals will be critical to creating a fair contract that works for everyone. Negotiations are at a critical juncture and the university is committed to coming to the table every day to help move the conversation towards an equitable and responsible resolution.

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