Membership Campaign and the 2019 Negotiations
Over the next two weeks, we’ll be joined by members and allies from the United Academics of Philadelphia for our Spring Membership Campaign. In a little over a year, we’ll be heading into contract negotiations, and having a strong membership base gives us much greater strength at the bargaining table. We look to members as we set the agenda for negotiations, and as you know, only members can vote when it comes to the contract ratification process. Later this term, we’ll be initiating the formal process for assessing issues by sending out a bargaining survey. Keep an eye out for it, and know that these efforts are centered on gaining a greater understanding of the issues that need to be addressed for TAUP members.
If you would like to join TAUP, you can now do so online here.
Constituency Council Elections, and Committee Openings
We’re looking for new leaders! There will be elections this semester for slots on each of our Constituency Councils and we hope many of you will consider running. The Constituency Councils are, in part, advisory groups that we rely on when we have questions about the specific constituencies that TAUP represents (tenured/tenure track faculty, NTTs, Librarians, Academic Professionals and Adjuncts). Meetings occur once or twice a semester, often via video conferencing. If you are someone who understands issues that your constituents face, and if you have ideas and are interested in helping to improve the conditions we all work under, call the office so we can talk further and answer any questions you might have. You may also know someone who you would like to nominate to run. Let us know, and we’ll contact nominees for further discussion. We also have slots on two new committees afforded by the adjunct contract: one addressing Adjunct office space, and one on affirmative action. Let us know if you’re interested!
Speaking of elections, we’re working with AFTPA, our state affiliate, to help our members work effectively on this year’s local, state, and federal elections. This is among our new initiatives, along with our work toward gaining Child Care on campus, tuition remission at other universities, and the important work of Fighting Institutional Racism Caucus. We welcome your input on these issues.
The FAST Fund for Students at Risk of Dropping Out Due to Financial Hardship
Finally, we are proud to announce that Prof. Sara Goldrick-Rab has designated TAUP as the administrator for the seventh FAST (Faculty and Students Together) Fund that she has established. The FAST Fund is designed to give modest amounts of aid (capped at a few hundred dollars) to help students faced with car repairs, a utility bill or some other urgent expense they can’t pay that puts them at risk for dropping out of school. As the research of Prof. Goldrick-Rab and others has shown, a troublingly high percentage of current college students are food- and housing- insecure, and these small amounts of aid can make the difference in their ability to stay in school. We are finalizing our procedures for the Fund and will soon send them out to our members. We know that our members care deeply about their students, and we’re very pleased to be in the position, thanks to the FAST Fund, to realize that care in a concrete and effective way.
We wish you all exciting and productive Spring semesters.