Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pan-African News Wire Editor to Speak at Union of Part-Time Faculty Rally at WSU

For immediate release

Union of Part-Time Faculty at
Wayne State University launches first contract campaign

Informational Demonstration Nov. 15

Media contacts:
Amanda Hiber: 313-720-2861
Rayfield Waller: 313-212-8321
Bryan G. Pfeifer: 313-832-7902

DETROIT -- The Union of Part-Time Faculty-American Federation of Teachers at Wayne State University (WSU) will hold an informational demonstration Nov. 15 at Noon at Gullen Mall at WSU. The UPTF begins formally negotiating its first union contract with the university administration Nov. 16.

"This demonstration will show the broad support for our union on campus and in the larger community. Part-time faculty are absolutely crucial to this university's operation, like all campus workers. It's time the administration compensated us for the indispensable work we do," said Amanda Hiber, UPTF member.

There are about 900 part-time faculty teaching in all of the
departments and colleges at the WSU main campus and at the extensions of the university. Some professors have taught every term for 35 years, some are teaching their first semester. Some have full-time jobs elsewhere and teach only one course; others are trying to patch together a living teaching at WSU and at two or three other colleges.

The part-time faculty overwhelmingly voted for union representation based around the issues of salary increases, benefits, job security and other concerns.

"We do what we do because we care about the community; like nurses, everybody needs us. But we are not getting enough compensation, we don't receive health benefits and professional respect is minimal although we are the ones closer and more accessible to students and the larger campus community. We know that the power of a union is the only way to win and deepen real democracy in our workplaces and larger society," said Rayfield Waller, UPTF member.

The UPTF is part of a nationwide movement to unionize part-time faculty, who make up an increasingly greater fraction of college faculty. Much like the corporate trend toward a part-time workforce, universities are relying more on part-time instructors, who generally receive a fraction of the pay of full-time faculty, and no benefits.

Non-tenure track faculty at the University of Michigan have been represented by Lecturers Employee Organization (LEO) since 2002-2003, and part-time faculty organizing campaigns are currently underway at both Henry Ford Community College and Michigan State University.

WSU Union of Part-Time Faculty / AFT, AFL-CIO
51 W Hancock
Detroit, MI 48201
313-832-7902 /

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