Union slow to accept contract, part-timer status at issue

Greg Kane

Implementation of the faculty union?s new contract hit a snag after union members disagreed with the California State University?s interpretation of guidelines regarding course selection for part-time lecturers.

At the center of the debate is Article 12 of the contract, which guarantees three-year contracts for temporary faculty with six or more years of experience.

The CSU is recommending that all lecturers with three-year contracts be entitled to teach the maximum 15 units per semester, said California Faculty Association, Sacramento chapter Lecturer Representative Linda Current.

Previously, lecturers had smaller entitlement amounts that grew with experience.

If allowed, the new policy would leave less experienced lecturers with fewer classes to teach ? and could lead to bickering among part-time faculty, Current said.

“It would be chaotic,” Current said. “I can?t help but think that this move is meant to keep us squabbling.”

CSU Spokeswoman Clara Potes-Fellow said part-time faculty without three-year contracts will continue to teach their existing workloads, and only new courses would be used to increase three-year lecturers to full-time status.

She said the CSU?s interpretation of the contract would not adversely affect any part-time lecturers unless the number of course offerings was reduced.

“I really don?t know why the union would say that some lecturers are being disadvantaged, unless they are anticipating a scenario of the reduction in course offerings,” Potes-Fellow said.

The CSU and CFA reached an agreement on the contract in March after a year of standoffs and protests.

Union members approved the proposal by a 95 percent majority later that month, and the CSU Board of Trustees is expected to ratify the contract at its May 14-15 meeting.

The two sides are currently engaged in talks on how to best implement and enforce the contract, Current said.

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