Adjunct Issues

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AFTNJ Activist Conference recap: adjunct unemployment, Rutgers LEARN and more

A captive crowd of PreK-12 and higher education faculty and staff gathered Aug. 16 for the AFTNJ Activist Conference at the Rutgers Labor Education Center in New Brunswick.

“If I had to pick a theme for this meeting today,” AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera said in her opening remarks, “a lot of it’s going to be political [and have to do with] where we’re going to be in the next couple of years.”…

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Chiera closes N.J. Legislature’s meeting on state of higher ed with call for funds, oversight

For many months, whenever she’s talked about higher education in New Jersey, AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera has emphasized what’s lacking on the fiscal side: transparency, accountability and oversight (TAO).

On May 1, Chiera spent several minutes on TAO and other topics during the N.J. State Legislature’s Special Meeting on Higher Education at the State House Annex in Trenton.…

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PERS to present webinars for AFTNJ adjuncts

The Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) will present two workshops in May for AFTNJ adjunct professors who would like more information about pension benefits or are planning to retire.

“Understanding Your Pension Benefits,” scheduled for May 12 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. ET, will cover enrollment criteria, membership tiers, the Member Benefits Online System (MBOS), beneficiary designation, group life insurance coverage, pension loans and more.…

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Veteran N.J. adjunct finds that remote learning does work for her and her students

Laurie LeFever was against the idea of transitioning to remote learning when the coronavirus pandemic overtook the country.

“First of all, I was terrified,” admits LeFever, a longtime adjunct professor at Montclair State University and Raritan Valley Community College. “I was one of those professors, for good or bad, who thought, ‘You know what? I can’t teach online.…

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Video of TCNJ adjunct’s reaction to student appreciation lights up social media

Part of teaching remotely during a pandemic, says adjunct professor Adam Shrager, is you never know when you’re being filmed.

Thanks to the video efforts of a student in one of his statistics courses at The College of New Jersey, Shrager has gained worldwide attention this month via a clip on social media showing his reaction to a class flashing signs stating their appreciation for his efforts this semester.…

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New UI law is a victory for N.J.’s adjuncts

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Nov. 10 signed legislation that will enable adjunct professors in the Garden State to collect unemployment insurance benefits.

The new law was met with praise from AFT and AFTNJ leaders.

“The passage of this legislation is a perfect example of the positive change that can occur when you elect people who care about workers,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten.…

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N.J. Senate passes unemployment bill for adjuncts

By a vote of 38-0, the state Senate on Sept. 24 approved S2852, a bill that would enable adjunct professors to collect unemployment benefits.

“Many adjunct professors face uncertainty with the unknown length of school shutdowns and looming budget cuts,” said Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney, a co-sponsor of the bill, in a story by Insider NJ.…

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AFTNJ supports unemployment bill for adjuncts

Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney and Sen. Sandra B. Cunningham this week introduced legislation that would enable adjunct professors to collect unemployment benefits — specifically, that adjuncts may not be refused these benefits during a summer, holiday or vacation break without “highly probable” assurance of reinstatement, reports Insider NJ.

It’s a bill that’s significant for multiple reasons, according to AFTNJ President Donna M.…

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Part-Time Lecturers Ratify New Contract With Rutgers

Sitrin, NJ Spotlight

Union leader says next step is a fight for healthcare benefits for the university’s part-time lecturers

After prolonged and tense negotiations — and division within their union — part-time lecturers at Rutgers University voted to ratify a new contract agreement.

“It was a union priority, and a priority of our membership, to create a clear and direct career path, to end the cycle at Rutgers of hiring an army of adjuncts as interchangeable, temporary freelance employees,” Teresa Politano, president of the part-time faculty union said in an email on Friday after votes had been tallied.…

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Part-Time Faculty At Rutgers Reaches ‘Groundbreaking’ Contract

Citrin, NJ Spotlight

Teresa Politano, president of the part-time faculty union called the contract “revolutionary” but noted that it is primarily a foundation on which they hope to build future contracts.

“We’re not just freelance employees anymore. Under this agreement we will become more integrated faculty members,” Politano said. “That’s a radical restructuring of the overall faculty system and a good foundation for future contracts.”…

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Rutgers Adjuncts Need $7,250 and Health Care, Not Contempt

To stand in solidarity with nearly 3,000 Rutgers Part-Time Lecturers, please read, sign, circulate and post to social media.

Adjuncts are not disposable; they are highly qualified educators who are central to student success at Rutgers and deserve fair wages and respect. We are in solidarity with Part-Time Lecturers in their fight for $7,250, health care and job security.…

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Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Gain Access to Health Coverage

SeeR-Health For Rutgers AAUP-AFT Part-Time Lecturers (Plan information on R-Health site)

“Rutgers tells us healthcare for part-time employees is not possible,” said Teresa Politano, president of the part-time faculty union, according to the press release. “Yet most Big Ten schools offer healthcare options and job security to part-time faculty members and other employees. This R-Health option proves that there are progressive solutions to a complicated problem.”…

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Brookdale Adjuncts Vote to Unionize

By Jay Cook, the Two River Times

Over 450 adjunct professors in the Brookdale Community College system now have more bargaining power, thanks to a decision earlier this month to join the state’s largest higher education union, representatives said last week.


With some teachers spread thin teaching classes on multiple campuses or balancing teaching with other jobs, being able to create a union now gives adjuncts a more defined voice each semester, they (Joan Carroll and James Schmitt) said.…

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