AAUP proposal passes first round of voting

The American Association of University Professors is closer than ever before to garnering fair pay for adjunct and contingent faculty across the nation. With a majority of provosts at Tech voting in favor of a new pay scale proposal on Oct. 4, the AAUP is waiting for a decision from the President’s Council, made up of all Tennessee Board of Regents’ institutions’ presidents.

“We are one step closer to getting this (resolution) adopted,” said Margaret Johnson, secretary of the AAUP, Tech chapter. “This is 10 years coming.”

Johnson, a former adjunct herself, remembers how she felt in the position most faculty are finding themselves in now.

“I worked at two different institutions each semester,” Johnson said.

Johnson described the state of adjuncts having no office, no benefits, low pay and no voting rights in faculty hearings.

“Personally, I was surprised,” Johnson said, “that the Academic sub council approved it.”

Her surprise comes largely from her understanding of budgeting difficulties in a slumping economy. Though earlier this year, the proposal was stopped by the vote of the Provosts, keeping it from the President’s council and from any real implementation, Johnson noted.

While “most pleased and most grateful,” from here, the AAUP and those affected play a waiting game.

“What the presidents do is up to them,” Johnson said, “My fingers are crossed.”

The AAUP has yet to formulate any plan in case the proposal fails at the presidential level.