PTL Professional Development Funds
2013 PTL Professional Development Awards announced
2014 PTL PDF Guidelines
RU Administration Letter to Deans, Dept Chairs, and others, announcing the PTL Professional Development Fund, sent on September 24, 2012
PTL Officers and Executive Board 2012-2013
Members ratified the new Agreement on August 17, 2012
PTL Contract, 2011-2015
Summary of the PTL Agreement, August 2012
Independent Study Agreement 2012
PTL 2012 Election of Executive Board Representatives
New Executive Board representatives and the new PTL president take office in September 2012. Eleanor LaPointe is stepping down as president to take a full-time non-tenure-track position at Rutgers, and Richard Gomes, current Vice President, becomes the new president. Below are links to information on the 2012 election:
Notice of new online ballot software (emailed to members on 6/12/12)
List of candidates
Bios of candidates
Demand and Return 2011-12 Budget Breakdown
PTL Teaching as a Percentage of all Rutgers Teaching
PTL Salaries in Total Rutgers Instructional Budget, 2012
Edwards Message, 12/1/2011
PTL Professional Development Fund
No Salary Freeze for PTLs, October 2010
PTL Faculty Chapter Bylaws amended as of May 25, 2011
AFT Faculty and College Excellence (FACE) Initative
McCormick rejects PTL Tuition Remission, 2009
Description of PTL Bargaining Unit
Join the Part-Time Lecturer Chapter
Comparison: PTLs Before & After Unionization updated (pdf)
AFT Report, "Reversing Course: The Troubled State of Academic Staffing and a Path Forward"
Description of the PTL Bargaining Unit
The Part-Time Lecturer Faculty Chapter of the AAUP-AFT, or
the Part-Time Chapter as we usually call it, has been in official existence since 1988 when an overwhelming number of Rutgers Part-Time Lecturers (PTLs) voted to be represented by the AAUP. Now, we are also affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the largest union of professional educators in higher education and K-12 instruction in the United States.
Our Chapter is legally recognized as the representative to negotiate working conditions for those in the "bargaining unit," which means those educators employed to teach as Part-Time Lecturers at Rutgers. There are approximately 1,000 PTLs responsible for as much as 30% of the instruction at Rutgers. PTLs primarily teach undergraduate courses, but they also cover a large number of graduate classes in the professional schools. The Part-Time Chapter is affiliated with the Rutgers Council of AAUP Chapters, AAUP-AFT which represents full-time faculty, teaching and graduate assistants, and a small unit of EOF counselors. Organizational by-laws detail the Part-time Chapter's relationship to these other chapters.
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Join the Part-Time Lecturer Chapter
To join the Part-time Chapter, you must be in at least your second semester of teaching as a PTL (unless you were full-time or a TA/GA the previous semester - then you're eligible immediately). Dues are a nominal .5% (.005) of one's salary (that's $22.95 a term if your salary is the $4,590 minimum per 3-credit course as per the contract for fall 2012) prorated across the paychecks of a term. Membership is only 32 cents more per paycheck than PTLs already pay for representation services. If you do not join, you still automatically pay a representation fee of 85% of dues in order to cover the costs of union representation, $19.50 per semester for a 3-credit course at the minimum salary. Only members vote or are involved in decision making. Although members are responsible to make major decisions (ratifying the contract, determining job actions, electing officers), the leadership body of the Part-Time Chapter is the Executive Board with representatives from Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick meeting on a monthly basis. Potential Board members are always being sought to increase departmental representation.
Review PTL dues chart by clicking on this link
Former members who are no longer employed at Rutgers may continue to be involved as non-voting members, if they become associate members. The fee is currently $20:
associate membership form
Contact any of the Board members or call the AAUP-AFT office if you have an interest in serving on the Part-time Chapter Executive Board.
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Beginning with AAUP-AFT representation in 1988, the Part-Time Chapter began negotiating collective agreements with our employer. The contract (collective agreement) provides annual salary increases, compensation for oversize classes and canceled classes, a grievance procedure, a professional development fund, and protection from salary reductions in addition to a statewide minimum salary. Over the years, several collective bargaining agreements have been negotiated adding across-the-board salary adjustments each term and increasing protections. No salary maximum is in place, leaving departments free to pay PTLs as much as their budgets or the market will allow them. Salaries vary widely from the $4,590 contractual minimum to as much as $20,000 or more for a 3-credit course.
Mass Transit Reimbursement Program
PTLs are eligible for Mass Transit Reimbursement Program. A federal program allows part-time employees who pay for mass transit expenses associated with their commute to work to receive a tax savings. The Mass Transit Commutation Reimbursement Program for Part-time Employees covers mass transit expenses, excluding commuter parking expenses.
The PTLFC has the right to negotiate parking fees, so even though such fees are excluded from the mass transit reimbursement program.
If you do need to drive your car and park on the Rutgers campus, the PTLFC contract negotiated an annual parking fee of $25.
How the Mass Transit Reimbursement Program works:
- Set aside before-tax dollars to pay for commuting expenses.
- Expenses must be incurred for traveling to and from work via mass transit.
- Submit claims for reimbursement using pretax money from your account
- 2012 reimbursement rate = up to $240 per month for Mass Transit Expenses
- Election enrollments and changes are allowed on a monthly basis
Further information is available from Rutgers Human Resources, 732-932-3990 or from the University web site at http://uhr.rutgers.edu/ben/MassTransitSavingPlan.htm.
Ozone Pass Program
NJ Transit and Rutgers University has partnered to Go Green on a special summer program that encourages riding mass transit instead of driving a car to work when Ozone levels are high. Unused Ozone Passes can be reimbursed before September 1st.
Ozone monitoring website: http://www.njaqinow.net/Default.ltr.aspx
Visit the UHR website to view info on the Ozone Pass program here: http://uhr.rutgers.edu/benefits/ozonepass-program
State Health Benefit Plan Buy-in Option
The PTLFC-AAUP-AFT has also made advances for part-time faculty in the New Jersey Legislature. Together with the NJ AAUP State Conference and the NJ AFT, Rutgers AAUP-AFT successfully changed the law to allow part-timers to purchase insurance in the NJ State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP). At a cost lower than that on the open market for individuals purchasing coverage for themselves and their families, this law gives part-timers access to excellent coverage. On October 2011, the options have expanded through new legislation. Open enrollment for the SHBP is during the month of October.
Information available from Benefits Specialists at Rutgers University Human Resources.
Go to http://uhr.rutgers.edu/policies-resources/faqs/state-health-benefits-part-time-employees or call UHR 732-932-3990 or email them at
AFT Supplemental Health Benefits
(options for full union members that are available any time because AFT does not require an open enrollment period)
Full members are eligible to choose supplemental health benefits made available by our national affiliation with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). There are no open enrollment periods for these options, which include coverage for medical, prescription, dental, and/or vision care. Visit the national AFT website to read about these supplemental health benefits: www.aft.org. You will need your AFT member number, which rep fee payers have although they are not eligible for these supplemental benefits until they become full members. Contact our office for more information: 732-964-1000
PTLs have pension benefits through the Alternative Benefit Program (ABP), a defined contribution retirement program. The right to a pension was preserved through rapid advocacy to defend this important benefit in 2008; however, the New Jersey legislature changed the benefit from the previous defined benefit plan, known as the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS), to the ABP. The ABP is the same retirement plan in which full-time faculty are enrolled. Those already in PERS were able to choose to stay in that plan or switch to ABP, but new hires will only have the ABP option.
Visit UHR website for more pension information:
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PTL Professional Development Fund
Guidelines for 2014 awards: Apply by Nov 30, 2013
Previous Professional Development Awardees: Read short descriptions of the activities that received funding:
No awards given out in 2011 or 2012
The deadline for the 2014 Professional Development Fund is November 30, 2013.
We encourage all PTLs to submit proposals for professional development projects. Of course, not all projects can be funded; however, when meritorious requests go unfunded or only partially funded, our argument at the bargaining table becomes stronger for increasing the amount of money in the fund. The union is committed to strengthening our case for professional development funds because these funds enhance teaching and the professional reputation of part-time lecturers.
What types of activities are eligible for professional development
A sample includes the following: attending conferences or presenting a paper at a conference; purchasing materials for teaching (e.g., films, books, software); research expenses; expenses when conducting workshops; training in professional skills related to your teaching assignments at Rutgers; preparation of teaching materials (e.g., producing your own DVD for student use).
What is not eligible?
Purchase of laptops. The Rutgers University Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research has stated that departments should make laptops available to Part-time Lecturers.
Overview of Professional Development Fund guidelines
Total Amount available: $20,000.00 for each academic year under the current contract (2012-2015).
Purpose: To reimburse PTLs for money spent in
professional development activities specifically related to their pedagogic needs in connection with and related to their professional activities at Rutgers
Administration of Funds: The Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research administers the PTL Professional Development Fund.
Who is eligible to apply: PTLs in the bargaining unit (i.e., teaching during the semester the funds are expended) are eligible to apply for money from this Fund.
When funds can be expended: Funding requests may be for activities already paid for in the Fall semester or coming up in the spring semester. Funds are reimbursed based on proper receipts presented. Save all receipts as necessary supporting documentation.
Two steps for submitting a request:
1. First, submit your application to the Department Chairperson or Program Director for review and endorsement consideration. Only applications that are endorsed by the Department Chairperson or Program Director may be submitted.
2. Then, after receiving this endorsement at the department or program level, send it along with your request to Jennifer Penley at
Other important information:
The Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research reviews all requests for merit and relevance. The Center will award funds only for those proposals that it determines to be meritorious and is not required to award the entire fund amount of up to $20,000.00, if it determines there are not sufficient meritorious proposals warranting funding.
Importance of Applying for Professional Development Funds:
PTL faculty who receive a Professional Development Fund award obviously benefit from applying, but there is a way in which not receiving an award has benefit for future rounds of the PD Fund: The more requests submitted, the stronger the message sent to RU administration that PTLs need and deserve professional development funds. Apply!
The PTL-AAUP-AFT chapter successfully negotiated an increase in the funds available for professional development--actually doubling the total amount available ($20,000 per year) from the previous contract to the current one). We want to defend the Professional Development Fund and have strong evidence that PTLs are applying in ever-increasing numbers. In other words, if you apply but do not receive funding in any given year, do not give up but apply again the next year and the next.
Union Right to Monitor PDF Funds: The University is required to provide the Union with copies of all PTL Professional Development Fund award and denial letters.
GUIDELINES ON FORMAT FOR REQUESTS FOR USE OF THE PTL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND
- Department/decanal unit/campus
- Amount of funding requested
- A detailed budget outlining the use of funds
- Semester during which funds will be expended
- Project statement, including how the project relates to professional activities at Rutgers (limited to one page)
- Endorsement by Department Chairperson or Program Director
- After endorsement by DC or PD, the request for funding should be in the form of an email to Jennifer Penley, email@example.com
November 30, 2013 with award distribution in the spring semester
PTL professional development funding decisions will be announced near the end of January and distribution begins in February when the PTL awardees present appropriate receipts.
If you have any questions about PTL Professional Development Funds or any other matter related to your status as a Part-Time Lecturer at Rutgers, you may contact Karen Thompson, PTLFC- AAUP-AFT Staff Representative at firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-964-1000, ext. 21.
A 2010 Victory!
Salary Freeze Could Not Be Implemented against PTLs
In 2010, the Rutgers Administration realized that they could not impose a salary freeze on part-time lecturers after all. We are happy that our contract terms were strong enough to restrain the administration, even as it imposed a salary freeze and all full-time faculty and teaching/graduate assistants. Our fellow union members in the full-time bargaining unit are fighting this unethical violation of the 2009 Memorandum of Agreement. We won a settlement that restored part of the salary increase illegally denied Teaching and Graduate Assistants in June 2011.
In October 2010, the AAUP-AFT PTL Faculty Chapter verified that PTL salary increases have been implemented. If you wonder whether or not your paycheck has been calculated accurately (now or at any time in the future), contact Karen Thompson at 732-964-1000, ext. 21 or email email@example.com
Archives: 2011 Negotiations
Initial Union Proposals, April 22, 2011
Additional Union Proposals, June 3, 2011
University Proposal, June 3, 2011
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Part-time Lecturer Frequently Asked Questions
- Why are PTLs in a separate bargaining unit from full-time faculty and TA-GAs?
- Why should I join the Part-Time Lecturer Faculty Chapter (PTLFC) of the AAUP-AFT
—if I'm only appointed for a semester?
—if all PTLs are represented anyway?
- What concretely do I get?
- What do I pay?
- How do I join?
1. Why are PTLs in a separate bargaining unit from full-time faculty and TA-GAs?
Rutgers' PTLs petitioned for a union election in 1988 and then voted overwhelmingly to become a union. Therefore, the AAUP-AFT represents part-time faculty at Rutgers in a separate bargaining unit called the Part-Time Lecturers Faculty Chapter of the AAUP-AFT. Full-time faculty are the employer of record for PTLs in most departments, so there would be a conflict of interest if both groups were in the same bargaining unit.
The Rutgers Council of AAUP Chapters, AAUP-AFT has over 6,000 bargaining unit members and maintains a dual identity as a professional association and bargaining agent, enhancing the quality of education at Rutgers by representing member interests and protecting their rights as employees.
Thus, PTLs have our own voice and autonomy as a bargaining unit, yet we are in the same parent organization as the full-time faculty. Full-time faculty at Rutgers have had union recognition since 1970. TA/GAs were added to the bargaining unit in 1972. Rutgers AAUP-AFT is the largest AAUP chapter in the nation and the largest in the AFT.
2. Why should I join the Part-Time Lecturer Faculty Chapter (PTLFC) of the AAUP-AFT, even when
—I'm only appointed for a short time, such as one or two semesters?
Although most PTLs are appointed term-to-term, the average stay is eight years and many of us have been teaching at RU for 20-25 years. One of the reasons we organized ourselves into the PTLFC in the first place was that PTLs received very little recognition for their long committed service in spite of being a "contingent" workforce. In order to join the PTLFC, a PTL must be in the second semester of teaching and he /she then retains membership until three consecutive semesters have passed without teaching.
—if all PTLs are represented anyway?
The more official members we have, the stronger our organization. The force the union can bring to bear at the bargaining table and at grievances is directly proportional to our numbers. Though the PTLFC-AAUP-AFT represents you whether you join or not, that representation is much more effective if you join. The representation fee is required by state labor law and is automatically deducted from your paycheck, but "upgrading" to union membership means you want to improve the professional status of part-time lecturers who carry 30% of the undergraduate classes.
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3. What concretely do I get?
Joining the union gives you a voice in contract negotiations and organizational policy, as well as a vote in contract ratification and officer elections. Once your membership application is processed you will receive a packet of materials including our collective bargaining agreement, our organizational by-laws, a list of discounts available, along with other items. You will also begin receiving Academe, the national AAUP's journal, and national AFT's On Campus.
4. What do I pay?
When you become a member of the PTLFC of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT, dues are a nominal 0.5% (.005) of your salary (that would be $22.50 a term if your salary is the minimum for a 3-credit course $4,500). It is deducted over your semester's paychecks — $2.06 per check. Even if you do not join, you automatically pay a representation fee that is 85% of the 0.5% dues, so you are already paying $19.13 per semester or $1.75 per pay period. This agency shop provision means everyone pays a fair share for representation, which everyone receives since all are covered by the union-negotitated contract that protects working conditions and compensation for part-time lecturers as a group. Only members are involved in decision making. Strong membership means we have greater effectiveness in negotiations. Switching from representation fee payer status to full membership is a small investment for strong defense of your professional employment well-being and this underwrites quality education for our students. Faculty working conditions are students leaning conditions.
5. How do I join?
Fill out a membership application form or contact the Part-Time Lecturers Faculty Chapter by phone (732) 964-1000, by fax (732) 964-1032, or by E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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