AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions


WHEREAS, AFT represents more than 35,000 part-time faculty in two- and four-year colleges and universities throughout the United States; and

WHEREAS, part-time faculty currently constitute about 43 percent of the nation's higher education teaching force and teach many thousands of students enrolled in our colleges and universities, with the number constantly increasing; and

WHEREAS, part-time faculty often teach the same courses as full-time faculty; and

WHEREAS, the majority of part-time faculty earn between one-fourth and one-half of the wages of a full-time faculty member on a per-class basis, often earning less than $2,000 to teach an entire course; and

WHEREAS, part-time faculty generally are either compensated poorly, or not at all, for advising students or working with their colleagues on academic matters; and

WHEREAS, a great number of part-time faculty have no health care or retirement benefits; and

WHEREAS, many part-time faculty are denied unemployment benefits during the summer and other times of unemployment; and

WHEREAS, the excessive reliance on part-time faculty threatens a basic principle of educational quality, namely, that a corps of full-time permanent tenured faculty should be in charge of the academic curriculum and teaching most of it; and

WHEREAS, many AFT locals and state federations have made the issue of equal pay (and benefits) for part-time faculty a priority in their legislative and bargaining agendas; and

WHEREAS, AFT supports the principle of equal pay for equal work for all workers; and

WHEREAS, access to a secure family wage, full-time job is an essential tenet of the AFL-CIO agenda for working families:

RESOLVED, that the AFT mobilize at all levels through organizing, bargaining and public policy advocacy to end the financial and professional exploitation of part-time faculty; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT continue to work to restore the corps of full-time tenure-track faculty. The AFT should study best practices nationally for giving qualified part-timers special consideration for full-time positions as they become available and should promote implementation of those practices; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT promote the principle of equal pay and benefits for equal work for part-time faculty with equivalent qualifications and experience; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT, when requested, work cooperatively with its locals to help secure health benefits for part-time workers in their workplace; and

RESOLVED, that until such benefits are available to part-time educators and staff in their workplace, the AFT will make every effort to secure from its health insurance carriers a health insurance policy and make this plan available to its part-time members as part of the AFT PLUS Program; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT advocate for legislation to ensure that part-time faculty with no expectation of continued employment are eligible for unemployment compensation during summers (if they are not employed) and other times they are unemployed; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT investigate new and innovative ways to enhance the ability of part-time faculty to achieve a fair and equitable wage and benefit package; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT, through devices such as publications and the AFT Web page, ensure that state federations, higher education locals and part-time faculty members are periodically informed of progress toward implementing the goals of this resolution; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT should develop procedures to monitor implementation of the goals of the resolution and should report periodically on the results.