AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions

FACULTY AND COLLEGE EXCELLENCE CAMPAIGN

WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers has enacted a number of resolutions over the years denouncing the destructive movement in the nation’s colleges and universities to employ a shrinking proportion of full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty while dramatically expanding the proportion of exploited “contingent” faculty, such as part-time/adjunct faculty, full-time nontenure-track faculty and graduate employees, all of whom work under short-term contracts; and

WHEREAS, as a result of these policies, today more than 70 percent of all college and university instructors are contingent workers who, most often, receive disproportionately low compensation, have minimal or no job security and receive inadequate professional support; and

WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers and its affiliates have taken the lead in initiating organizing drives, negotiating better working conditions through collective bargaining, and engaging in legislative and political activity to ensure that contingent faculty and other instructional staff receive higher pay, better benefits, greater job security and adequate professional support; and

WHEREAS, in 2006, the AFT enacted a resolution that called for the development of a national campaign to promote the introduction of state legislation designed to restore full-time tenured faculty positions and provide the equity in compensation and professional support that contingent faculty need to best serve their students; and

WHEREAS, in furtherance of this resolution, the AFT launched the Faculty and College Excellence Campaign (FACE) in 2007, to push for the initiation of new hiring policies that would:

  • phase in full pro-rata pay and benefits for contingent faculty and other instructional staff;
  • provide that 75 percent of the undergraduate classes in most departments at public institutions of higher education are taught by full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty after an appropriate phase-in period; and
  • ensure that institutions of higher education develop a plan to increase full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty hiring without job loss to existing contingent faculty, and that contingent faculty are given preferential consideration in filling new full-time tenured and tenure-track jobs.

WHEREAS, in an effort to begin the transformation of the academic staffing structure, FACE legislation has already been introduced in 11 state legislatures and will be introduced in other states, even as AFT higher education leaders recognize that achieving the goals of the FACE Campaign will require years of public and political advocacy:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers endorse the Faculty and College Excellence Campaign as a strategy to simultaneously increase the proportion of full-time tenure and tenure-track positions and improve the compensation and working conditions of contingent faculty through union solidarity and member mobilization focused on organizing, collective bargaining, legislative action, data analysis and public engagement; and

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers assist affiliates interested in developing FACE legislation tailored to the political circumstances and policy issues in their states and assist affiliates in acquiring legislative sponsors, developing testimony, disseminating research and engaging in supportive political action; and

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers assist affiliates interested in developing collective bargaining initiatives to carry out the goals of FACE as well as mobilize members behind FACE-related contract campaigns and ensure that collective bargaining and legislative efforts are mutually reinforcing; and

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers collect and conduct research on academic staffing issues to support its advocacy of FACE goals; and

RESOLVED, that the FACE Campaign employ the media, wherever possible, to engage public officials and the general public, particularly college students and their families, on the importance of restoring a predominantly full-time tenured faculty corps and achieving equity for contingent faculty; and

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers recognize that member mobilization is the most important element of both legislative and contract-based FACE efforts, and will therefore offer information and training, and other support, in promoting effective mobilization practices to achieve the FACE Campaign’s goals and will connect these activities with the AFT Activists for Congressional Education (ACE) program; and

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers, whenever possible, will form relationships and coalitions with other organizations wishing to advance the aims of the FACE Campaign.


(2008)