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Karen Thompson

The emergence of a Rank & File Caucus bringing fresh energy and ideas into the PTL union is encouraging. We need more new members to increase this surge of activism.  With a new collective agreement in place now, we have to focus on fair implementation of these new provisions and work even harder to make up for inadequacies.  Health insurance can be won outside the collective agreement (that's how full-timers have it.)  Other professional advances can also be won before the next round of negotiations.

Having taught part-time at RU since 1979 and having led the organizing drive achieving unionization (AAUP) for PTLs in the 1980s as well as maintaining continual activism after that (in the union, in the University Senate, on the New Brunswick Faculty Council), I have loads of experience with PTLs, University policy, the administration, etc.  I am proud to have spoken out on behalf of part-timers over the years, advocating for better salaries, benefits, professional treatment, and so on.  My publications relate to these activities.

Although we have accomplished much at RU (salary growth more than 5 times over, "access" to health benefits, representation in faculty governance, 50% tuition remission, growing professional development fund, a promotional career path, etc.), there is still much more to do.  In the University Senate, I helped pass unanimous recommendations calling for better integration of PTLs into University life and more professional treatment for PTLs.  I authored another Senate report passed unanimously urging the administration to compensate PTLs for service activities.

A committed activist, I continue to serve on the PTL Board, despite being critical of their decisions, and look forward to fighting the good fight to win further advances for PTLs.  Putting my years of experience to good use gaining further improvements for PTLs at Rutgers is an honor.

 

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