Part Time Lecturers Local Calls on Rutgers to Keep Pace With Big 10 Schools
Faculty leaders believe that Rutgers University entrance into the Big 10 conference should emphasize academic best practices as much as football fundamentals and have a candidate who shares their vision in Phil Murphy, according to journalism professor Teresa Politano, President of the union local.
The union, which represents 2.500 adjunct faculty members, (called ‘Part-Time Lecturers’ at Rutgers) endorsed Murphy May 7 and pledged to continue to educate state legislators about working conditions including pay and benefits in comparision with other leading universities.
“Too many of the adjunct faculty at our colleges and universities have found only closed doors to full-time positions and unequal pay. All of our educators deserve basic fairness, and pay and benefits that are on-scale with their full-time colleagues,” said Murphy.
“The research tells a remarkable story,” said Politano. “Most Big Ten schools offer ‘fractional pay’ at a comparable rate as what full-timers earn, to their part-time faculty, and many also offer benefits. The approach benefits instruction, morale and “student benefits tremendously,” she said.
“When we heard gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy advocate for fair pay for adjuncts it was a policy perspective that was more than welcome,” said Politano. “At Rutgers, adjuncts teach more than 30 percent of the classes, and a majority of the students. Yet we are largely invisible. We are underpaid, and are treated as casual, intermittent workers.”
Politano said, “Murphy gets it, and he gets that if most college professors are part of an invisible, underpaid class, well, then the quality of the degree will also suffer.”
The adjunct faculty local joined their tenure track collegues in endorsing Murphy for Governor as well as the AFT state College Council, which represents faculty, professional staff and librarians at New Jersey’s nine four-year colleges and universities and AFT New Jersey.