NEWSLETTER, Q & A

What is the union’s view of voting rights for NTTF?

January 12, 2018 / Phil Lesch

In 2012, National AAUP issued a report and adopted a policy on "The Inclusion in Governance of Faculty Members Holding Contingent Appointments." This report, and the caveats about fixed term faculty members having the right to exclude themselves from voting when they feel they have a conflict, continue to apply to members who are appointed as a fixed term NTTF. (Article 18 Section 3 of the Collective bargaining Agreement) The report essentially says NTTF should be included in regular governance, except where their participation could potentially jeopardize their employment. In those cases, they should have the option to participate. An example of this would be if a department chair is attempting to pass through shared governance an unpopular motion and may have threatened to fire FT faculty members if they do not vote in favor of the chair’s motion.

While this remains a relevant issue for individual members who are on track for continuous appointment but have not yet received it. However, it is not a relevant issue for NTTF on continuous appointment since those positions are no longer contingent. NTTF faculty with continuous appointment can and should be expected to participate in all relevant votes.

We've been asked specifically if it makes sense to not have NTTF members vote on tenure issues. Yes, it does. Most departmental bylaws do not have NTTF voting on the hiring of tenure track faculty, the review tenure track faculty, or on tenure decisions. There is historical contract language, however, for them serving on committees for the hiring of NTTF members, and most departments have NTTF participating in the review of NTTF members.

 

EF 1/12/18

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