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Faculty Welfare
Reluctant Environmentalist

Public Writing

Faculty Welfare

February 20, 1990: Volume 1, Number 6

 

“A Turning Point” [by Mariann Regan]

 

The negotiating session this Thursday, February 22nd, will be the most important one to date. It will determine whether the non-economic issues are to be readily disposed of, or whether the administration will make a serious problem out of them. The ball is in their court, and the faculty team has made this clear to them.

 

The critical issue is the legal preamble to the contract, which is the basis of our protection. The faculty has insisted that the individual contracts of faculty members are incorporated in the overall salary agreement between the faculty and administration. This incorporation is crucial because it prevents any separate arrangements an administrator might try to make with an individual faculty member. Without such language, there could be real inequality in the treatment of faculty….

 

The other non-economic matter is our request that payroll deduction be available to our members for payment of their dues. The administration initially rejected this request. We have pressed the issue and pointed out that refusal to provide such a convenience would be seen as unreasonable, since payroll deduction is available for other purposes such as the Credit Union. The administration has agreed to reconsider its position and provide and answer this week.

 

In sum, this week will be a turning point on the non-economic issues. We are convinced that these can now be swiftly handled if the administration so desires. We want to move on to the economic concerns. It is up to the administration. Should they choose not to be cooperative, you will be informed immediately.

 

Note: Unless events at the negotiating table provoke an emergency meeting, the next regular FWC meeting will be on Friday, March 23rdWe will discuss becoming the FWC/AAUP, and we will vote on using our fund for that purpose and related purposes. Please forward to the officers all questions you would like addressed at that meeting, as well as all further suggestions for agenda items.


If negotiations should take a turn for the worse, you will be informed immediately through the telephone tree by the Action Committee with its recommendations.

 

 

“How Could the FWC Become the FWC/AAUP?” by Richard Regan

 

The FWC Steering Committee and many other FWC members think we should be affiliated with the national AAUP.  This would allow us to continue to receive the AAUP services we have sampled this year for free or at reduced cost, like the Weber report and advice on negotiations.

 

How could this be done? The Committee on Faculty Welfare can continue as an ad hoc committee of the General Faculty, and can vote to have a portion of its collected dues sent to the AAUP for individual memberships. (The easiest way to do this is by payroll deduction.) This process has a handbook precedent. The Handbook Committee, jointly established by faculty and administrators, operated for several years without further General Faculty action until circumstances brought its work to a close.

 

Would this change the present negotiating structure? No. The Salary Committee elected by the General Faculty would continue to negotiate from strength with the administration. The FWC/AAUP would continue to collect dues to pay for the services of our attorney and for AAUP services. The AAUP offers consultation with experts on health benefits, follow-up analysis of the University’s financial condition by Dr. Weber in future years, and training for our salary negotiators. The FWC/AAUP would set dues and committee policies for itself, as it now does.

 

 

“The Dismal Financial Situation of Junior Faculty” [by an untenured faculty member]

 

I am currently a junior faculty member at Fairfield University and I would like to comment on my financial situation as such. When I arrived at Fairfield, I was a relatively new PhD and didn’t have much in the way of savings, so I decided to try to find a reasonably priced apartment. I found to my dismay that I had to settle for a very small one-bedroom condo in a rather dismal area, at a rent of $625 a month (not counting utilities). This was a shock to me, since I had come from a college located in a city also considered to have a high cost of living but where a fairly large two-bedroom in a nice neighborhood runs about $550. Furthermore, that college supplies inexpensive (about $450 a month) housing to junior faculty.

 

I’ve also found, for example, the restaurant prices in Fairfield and vicinity (even in fast-food places) are about 20 percent higher than I’m accustomed to. Although I am single and have no extraordinary expenses, I find that after basic necessities (room, board, utilities and transportation) there is not much left to take care of my remaining expenses. My Fairfield salary is comparable to those offered to me by other universities, but as far as cost of living is concerned there seems to be no comparison. I feel that it is a struggle to keep my financial head above water, and I fear that I would have difficulty coping with any kind of emergency, much less trying to save enough for a down payment on a house or a condominium.