Dear Colleagues, UNH Lecturers United-AAUP, AAUP-UNH and the administration of The University of New Hampshire are committed to the health and well-being of every member of our shared community. With this in mind, we have been working closely to best address the rapidly evolving situation presented by the outbreak of the novel corona virus, COVID-19. Because of the unique characteristics and requirements of the various courses we offer at UNH, there simply cannot be a single or uniform manner to address our temporary need for non-face-to-face instruction. Be assured that the university has put its trust in each of us to determine the best possible student outcomes considering the situation, and each of us should feel empowered to find an appropriate balance between our own welfare and the need to deliver educational content for our students. Department Chairs and College Deans are aware of the flexibility required to make the sudden pivot to non-face-to-face instruction. The university is making extensive resources available to faculty in order to facilitate this transition. Each member of the faculty has the right to find the type of delivery that best suits them and their courses. Some faculty have already developed the skills needed for this transition; for some it will be a challenge and steep learning curve. It is entirely OK that our approaches to instruction may range from email to complex uses of the available digital learning tools. The next weeks will be less than ideal, but we will navigate them together. Presently, UNH is planning on resuming in-class instruction on April 3rd . However, if you or anyone with whom you share close personal space is considered at risk through exposure or because of existing health concerns, then it is understood that you will continue to conduct your class in a non-face-to-face manner. We have been assured that there will be no negative repercussions for doing what is right in regard to your health. UNH will be making it easier to communicate your teaching arrangements, but please stay in close contact with your chair about your individual needs and teaching plans. You can also reach out to the Instructional Continuity Hotline (603) 862-2467 if you have specific questions or needs. We will get through this together; we cannot stress this enough. The situation is evolving rapidly, and it is a lot to suddenly be asked to reconsider how you might conduct your course. Please don’t feel as if you need to take on any of this solely on your own, and please take advantage of the resources that are being made available to ease this transition. Your faculty unions have been hearing your concerns and bringing them to the administration. Working with the administration and senior leadership has played an important role in shaping policy. Be Well,
Wayne Jones, Provost Molly Campbell, President UNHLU-AAUP Michael Carter, President AAUP-UNH
WHAT HAS YOUR UNION
DONE FOR YOU LATELY?
Nena Stracuzzi, Lecturer, Sociology UNHLU-AAUP, Vice President
Turns out, plenty. Thanks to the blood, sweat, and tears of many who came before me, in August of 2015, after fourteen months of negotiations, we signed our first collective bargaining agreement. And with significant gains from those efforts, we as a group have come a long way since 2013. I, for one, am grateful.
For starters, we’ve received double digit average percentage raises in all colleges for the period from 2015-2017. We’ve also received summer and J-Term compensation increases. We now have a university wide promotion structure and we eagerly await news of those who have submitted promotion packets. This is on the heels of many lecturers’ rank adjustments to Senior or Principal. We’ve achieved longer-term appointments and we finally have a grievance structure to address cases of arbitrary or capricious treatment, adding yet another layer of protection. Such enhanced job security was among our members’ top priorities. Significantly, like our tenured colleagues, we now have the opportunity to take a paid semester for professional development. These pedagogical leaves which provide us with much-needed time to increase our teaching effectiveness, whether to develop new courses or explore new technologies, are a monumental boon for lecturer faculty. Additionally, all lecturers are entitled to request funds annually for registration and travel to professional organizations, conferences, and/or workshops. Importantly, twelve weeks of paid parental leave were negotiated and finally, sick days for personal or family leave is contractually guaranteed. So too are the full protections of academic freedom guaranteed for lecturers. Truly, substantial advances have been made; while we may not yet have achieved all for which we collectively hope, we enter our second round of negotiations from a position of strength. With previous successes under our belts and only continued advancements to be made, the importance of collective bargaining is apparent. Such achievements for all could never have been made individually.