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Best Union Practices for Part-time and Contingent Faculty

Best Union Practices
for
Increasing Membership Among Part-Time Faculty and for
Encouraging Their Involvement in Union Activities
 
Best Union Practice 1: Membership
Special efforts should be made to recruit part-time faculty to join and become involved in their union, such as contacting them personally soon after their hiring and providing each of them with a membership application and information about the union.
 
Best Union Practice 2: Voting Rights
Part-time union members must have full voting rights on all union matters including the election of officers and the ratification of contracts in accordance with the AFT constitution.
 
Best Union Practice 3: Representation
Part-time faculty should be eligible for any union leadership position, and each union local should either designate positions on their governing body for part-time/contingent faculty representatives or make special efforts to recruit part-time/contingent faculty for board offices. At least one position on negotiating teams should be designated for part-time representatives. When unable to recruit part-time faculty to serve in a designated part-time position, these positions may be filled by full-time faculty who will commit to communicate with and poll part-time faculty in order to represent them.
 
Best Union Practice 4: Dues Structure and Expenditures
Recognizing the value and importance of maintaining an effective union, membership dues for part-time faculty should be set at a high enough level for the union to maintain a strong treasury while still taking into account the limited compensation that part-time faculty receive. Part-time faculty should be covered by fair share agency shops so that unions will have the resources to continue activism for them. In turn, a portion of the local’s budget should be dedicated to providing special mobilization for part-time faculty so that they can advocate on their own behalf in Olympia and other venues and for continuing membership recruitment.
 
Best Union Practice 5: Solidarity
Union locals should initiate programs, forums, or other activities that can increase understanding and build solidarity between full- and part-time faculty. Locals should address stereotypes and myths that both groups have developed about each other in order to build mutual respect and trust.
 
Best Union Practice 6: Communication
Union locals should make special efforts to ensure that their communications reach all part-time and contingent faculty and that those faculty know how to reach their union officers.
 
Best Union Practice 7: Planning

Each local, as part of its strategic planning processes, should develop methods to identify and address part-time faculty issues. The 2006 State Board Best Practices Task Force Report and Recommendations should be used as a foundation for the plan, and copies of the report should be distributed to all union members and to the college administrators and Boards of Trustees.


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