May 25, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Newark, NJ – More than 300 adjunct professors at the New Jersey Institute of Technology here have voted to join the American Federation of Teachers, the union announced.
“The adjunct workforce at NJIT has been waiting a long time to have their voices heard by the administration,” Crystal Hamai, an adjunct instructor in the humanities department, told the Newark Patch Website. Their local will be an affiliate of the Rutgers American Association of University Professors-AFT, which represents faculty at the state university’s three main campuses. Adjunct faculty at NJIT get $3,900 per course, compared to a minimum of $5,200 at Rutgers, said Teresa Politano, a journalism professor at the New Brunswick campus who is president of the union’s Part-Time Lecturer division. She said the “corporate model” of relying on low-paid part-time faculty left adjuncts “functioning in the same relationship as an ‘Uber driver’ while increasingly performing the core functions of the university” and forced them “to take on as many classes as possible in order to survive, and the real loser is the student.” Health insurance “is a major priority for adjunct faculty,” added Hamai: Because many teach at more than one institution, they can’t get employer-sponsored coverage. Read more