My name is David Winters, I am a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Communication and Information on the College Avenue campus in New Brunswick and a member of the Rutgers Adjuncts Rank and File Caucus (RA-RFC) running on the Faculty for a Democratic Union slate. I have taught more than 20 courses at Rutgers along with approximately half that number of courses at another state university since 2013, and I think it is essential for our executive board to represent the perspective of part-time faculty who are working their way through advanced degrees and trying to earn a living with their teaching assignments.
I am running for a position on the executive board because I believe the recently ratified contract represents a hard-won victory, but it falls well short of just compensation while creating tiered structures that threaten to disrupt the already tenuous solidarity among part-time faculty.
Rutgers cannot function without the labor of qualified, dedicated, and passionate part-time faculty. Our community of more than 3,000 part-time faculty makes a vital contribution to Rutgers' reputation and the quality of our students' education. Although we teach upwards of 30% of the courses at Rutgers, we are asked to work for pay that is incommensurate with our experience, precarious job security, and without a clear path to full-time status or access to high quality, affordable health insurance. I believe our union representatives should strive to see that we are compensated for the full value of our experience and the value our labor generates for the university. If you help me win a seat on the executive board, I will work with the rest of the board and officers to make Rutgers an exemplar of the working conditions, learning environment, and quality of life that we and our students all deserve.