Dear Adjunct Faculty:
Several adjunct faculty have recently notified their chairs, deans and others that they have been approached before or after classes by representatives from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the Temple Association of University Professionals (TAUP) and others regarding unionization of adjunct faculty. As an educational institution, we strongly believe that any decision-making should be built on a solid foundation of understanding of issues, in this case, the unionization process and the ensuing collective bargaining if a union is formed.
As part of AFT's organizing efforts, you may be approached by an AFT or TAUP representative wanting you to join TAUP, the union that represents the full-time faculty, or you may have received a package in the mail asking that you sign an "authorization card" and a "membership card". If you sign these cards, you are surrendering certain of your individual rights to the union if/when it is certified. By signing the authorization card, you are agreeing to have the TAUP, the United Academics of Philadelphia, AFT-PA, AFT, and the AFL-CIO represent you regarding the terms and conditions of your employment. The authorization card is a binding document; once you sign and submit this card, it will be very difficult to withdraw should you change your mind. By signing the membership card, you also are agreeing to have dues deducted from your salary and paid directly to TAUP once a collective bargaining agreement has been agreed upon.
As you may know, we have been working directly with adjunct faculty members since last year to listen and respond to concerns about job security, wages, benefits and other issues. We believe that an open and direct relationship with our adjuncts is best. We are concerned that once the union files a petition for representation, we cannot continue the meetings we have had with you, the adjunct faculty, until there is an election. If the union is certified, we cannot make any change to compensation, benefits or other terms of employment without coming to agreement with the union, a process which can take a long time to accomplish.
Ultimately, it is your decision whether or not you wish to be represented by TAUP and AFT. In the meantime, we want to reaffirm our interest in continuing to work directly with our adjuncts without third-party involvement.
Thank you for taking the time to read this message. If you have questions, please feel free to email me at the following address, which has been designed to facilitate communication with my office on this particular issue.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs