Union FAQ, Links, and By-laws
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I help?
would love to have you get involved in the union! Those of us who are already
involved know that your time is limited — we’re adjunct professors, too, and
we know that the life of an adjunct is the life of a juggler. We always need
help with membership drives, publicity, and communications.
Contact Brian McNeil, acting president of
AFEC-AAUP, at Brian_Mcneil@emerson.edu.
The successes of the AFEC-AAUP to date have come from the efforts of volunteers,
and any help is great help.
involved in the union is a wonderful way to engage in your Emerson community
by meeting your professional colleagues and making a home at the school.
Do I have to join the union?
No member of the bargaining unit is obliged to
become a full member of AFEC-AAUP, but all are required to either join the
union or pay the financial core membership contribution. We won this
employment requirement in our very first collectively bargained contract in
2004 and it is enforced now as a result of our successful 2010 membership
drive. Please see the membership
application page for details.
Sometimes called fair share, our contract’s core
membership provision requires every faculty member covered by the contract to
contribute to the cost of negotiating, administering, and enforcing it. This
provision makes the union stronger and better able to work on your behalf.
Whether you join the union or not, you are
required to operate under the rules of the union contract.
How does the College decide how
much to pay me?
There is a chart in the contract at Article 4
that determines the minimum salary you will receive for teaching a course at
Emerson. First figure out how many credits you have taught at the school (if
you don’t know, ask your department chair). Then see where your course falls
within the per-credit salary chart. If
you’re teaching a 4-credit class, multiply the number in the chart by four.
This is the minimum salary you will be paid.
The College can always pay more than the
minimum. This is explicitly written into the contract language.
What’s the Emerson union’s
relationship with the AAUP national office?
The official name of our union is the Affiliated
Faculty of Emerson College, American Association of University Professors
(AFEC-AAUP). We are an independent,
stand-alone union with an affiliation with the AAUP. This is different from
being a chapter in a national union. When a union is a chapter, it is
subject to ongoing management input by the parent organization. Instead, our
union makes all its own decisions and is not subject to any oversight by the
We do, though, get to draw on the resources and
expertise of the AAUP in helping to establish equitable working conditions
for part-time faculty at our school. Our union is deeply indebted to the AAUP
for its help in getting established and getting a contract. The AAUP also
helped when we had to file a grievance against the College in August 2006 to
get faculty paid properly.
The AAUP was founded in 1915 and is devoted to
“developing the standards and procedures that maintain quality in education
and academic freedom in this country's colleges and universities,” according
to the organization’s Web site. You can read more about the association at www.aaup.org.
I think the College is treating me
unfairly. What’s the grievance procedure?
The union contract brings to the adjunct teachers
of Emerson a formal process for grieving unfair practices. The union’s hope
is that this will be a last step solution for making sure people are treated
If you feel you are being treated unfairly, the
first step the union recommends is for you to try to resolve the matter by
working with your department chair or other relevant school officers. You
must try to rectify the situation yourself before you turn to the union. Many
issues can be solved more quickly and efficiently if the union never gets
If you have tried to solve the problem yourself
and feel like you are still being treated unfairly, do these three things:
- Consult the union contract. Is there a specific provision of the
contract that the school is in violation of? The union can not bring a grievance on your behalf unless
there is a contract violation.
- Make several sets of photocopies of all relevant
information—contracts, Emails, letters, evaluations, etc.—and write out a
clear, detailed description of the history of the problem, the part of
the contract you believe the College is in violation of, and what
solution you are seeking.
- Contact union Grievance Officer Brian McNeil (also the acting
president of the union) at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 617.824.7600 x 2143. Please
include your telephone number. Brian will take your request to the union
officers, and as a team they will make a decision about the validity of
your claim and whether the union will put its resources toward filing a
grievance on your behalf.
The Grievance Procedure is Article 6 of the
contact. It details how the process unfolds after a grievance is filed.
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Emerson College eCommon
This is the place to find your email, faculty
tools, your personal course information, and the interface for online
grading. Requires password for access.
AFEC-AAUP on Facebook
American Association of University Professors
The journal of the AAUP.
The Chronicle of Higher Education
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BY-LAWS OF THE
AFFILIATED FACULTY OF EMERSON
COLLEGE / AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF
The Affiliated Faculty of Emerson College/AAUP is
a chapter of the American Association of University Professors.
As the negotiating representative for part-time
faculty, the Affiliated Faculty of Emerson College, seeks
to promote and preserve the professional and economic well being of the unit
members for whom it bears legal responsibilities. As a professional
association and in addition to its responsibilities as negotiating
representative, the Affiliated Faculty of Emerson College seeks to enhance
the academic environment of the college.
These By-Laws regulate the Affiliated Faculty of
ARTICLE I: MEMBERSHIP
The Affiliated Faculty of Emerson College shall
consist of all part-time/adjunct faculty who teach
at least one course during the academic year at Emerson
College, who are dues paying members
of the AFEC/AAUP, and who are not graduate students at the college.
Membership in the AFEC/AAUP confers membership in
ARTICLE II: MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS
The Chapter Executive Board may call membership
meetings of the Chapter at any time. There shall be at least one membership
meeting per year. Twenty-five percent of members in good standing shall
constitute a quorum. The agenda of each meeting shall be outlined in the call
for the meeting. Changes to the agenda may be made by a
two-thirds vote of the members attending the meeting.
Members of the AFEC/AAUP in good standing shall
be entitled to vote on all matters considered at these meetings; all other
bargaining unit members (those who are qualified for membership but decline
it) may attend, but may not vote.
ARTICLE III: DUES AND FINANCES
Dues shall be determined by the Chapter Executive
Board, and ratified by the membership. Non-payment of dues shall be
cause for removal from membership. Only members in good standing with
respect to dues payment shall be eligible for office; for membership on any
committee; or for voting rights in elections, contract ratification, or any
other matter submitted for membership approval.
ARTICLE IV: OFFICERS OF THE AFEC / AAUP
A. The officers of the Chapter shall be the
President; the Vice President, and the Secretary / Treasurer. Officers are
eligible to seek re-election.
B. Election of Officers
1) Chapter officers shall be elected by the
membership through a secret mail ballot.
2) The President shall be elected once
every two years and shall serve for a period of two years beginning on
September 1 of the year in which s/he has been elected.
3) The Vice President shall be elected
once every two years in alternate years from the President and
Secretary/Treasurer, and shall serve for a period of two years
beginning September 1 of the year in which s/he has been elected. The
first vice-president elected will serve only one year to begin the staggering
4) The Secretary / Treasurer shall be
elected once every two years and shall serve for a period of two years
beginning on September 1 of the year in which he/she has been elected.
5) The Committee on Nominations and Elections
of the Chapter Executive Board shall prepare a slate for election of officers
by soliciting nominations from the membership and shall announce it to the
Ballots shall be mailed to all members of the AFEC/AAUP. Elections shall be
conducted under the supervision of the Committee on Nominations and
7) The election process shall be completed by
August 15 of each election year.
C. Each officer is subject to recall by the
members of the AFEC/AAUP.
1) A recall election must be initiated by recall
by a petition stating the reasons for the proposed action and signed by
twenty-five percent of union members.
2) A petition demanding a recall election shall
be presented to the Chapter Executive Board through the Secretary, who shall
certify the authenticity and the member status of each signer.
3) No recall petition shall be received after
March 1 of the year in which the election is demanded; and each recall
election shall be completed no later than 30 days after the petition has been certified.
4) A recall election shall be conducted by a
special committee appointed by the Executive Board for that
5) An officer shall be removed when
two-thirds of those casting ballots so vote, provided only that the total
voting for recall shall be no less than a majority of total votes cast in the
elections of that officer.
6) When a vacancy occurs because of recall
elections, the position shall be filled according to the procedures listed
below under “Succession of Officers.”
D. Succession of officers
1) In the event the President cannot complete
his/her term, the term shall be completed by the Vice President until a
special election fills the vacancy. After serving temporarily as President,
the Vice President shall resume his/her duties for whatever remains of the
term of office.
2) In the event that the Vice President cannot
complete his/her term, the term shall be completed by the Secretary
until a special election fills the vacancy.
3) In the event that the Secretary cannot
complete his/her term, the Chapter Executive Board, by a majority of those
voting, shall elect a replacement to complete the term.
ARTICLE V: DUTIES OF CHAPTER OFFICERS
1) Be spokesperson and official representative
for the Affiliated Faculty of Emerson College.
2) Appoint the chair and members of standing
committees, with the advice and consent of the Chapter Executive Board.
3) Appoint with the advice and consent of the
Chapter Executive Board the members of the administrative committees of
the Chapter Executive Board; such members shall be drawn from the
Chapter Executive Board membership.
4) Appoint the chair and members of special
committees with the advice and consent of the Chapter Executive Board.
5) Preside over meetings of the Chapter
6) Initiate legal actions on behalf of the
Chapter when authorized by the Executive Board
7) Provide direction to other officers and
oversee their activities.
B. Vice President
1) Be spokesperson and official representative
for the Affiliated Faculty of Emerson College in the absence of the
2) Assist the President as needed.
3) Preside over meetings of the Chapter Executive
Board in the absence of the President.
C. Secretary / Treasurer
1) Oversee the maintenance of the records of the
2) Keep minutes at all meetings of the Chapter
Executive Board; prepare these minutes for reproduction and distribution
to all union members.
3) Review monthly the AFEC/AAUP’s
4) Prepare and present a financial report for the
Chapter Executive Board and the general membership at least once per year, no
later than June 1; prepare and present other financial reports as required by
the President and/or the Executive Board.
5) Recommend appropriate management of
6) Preside over meetings of the Executive Board
in the absence of the President and the Vice President.
ARTICLE VI: EXECUTIVE BOARD OF THE AFFILIATED
FACULTY OF EMERSON COLLEGE
A. The internal affairs, collective
negotiations and grievance handling policies and activities of the Chapter
shall be coordinated by a Chapter Executive Board consisting of the
President, Vice President, Secretary / Treasurer, and two elected at-large
members, each of whom may also chair a standing committee. The term of
Chapter Executive Board representatives shall be two years.
B. The at-large members of the Chapter Executive
Board shall be elected once every two years in alternate years from the
President and Secretary/Treasurer [the same years as the elections for
vice-president], and shall serve for a period of two years beginning
September 1 of the year in which s/he has been elected. The first at-large
Executive Board members elected will serve only one year to begin the
staggering of terms.
C. If an at-large Executive Board member is
unable to complete his/her term, a replacement shall be appointed by the
Chapter Executive Board. If a representative misses three (3) consecutive
meetings, s/he shall be considered withdrawn unless the Executive Board
determines special circumstances.
D. The Chapter Executive Board shall hold a
minimum of four meetings throughout the year.
E. The duties of the Chapter Executive Board are
1) Determine membership dues in accordance with
2) Assume responsibility for general fiscal
affairs and approve the annual budget.
3) Establish standing committees and conduct the
affairs of the organization through those committees and special committees
as provided by the By-laws.
4) Establish and abolish special committees, as
it deems necessary.
5) Authorize legal action on behalf of the AFEC /
6) Authorize, after mail vote by the
membership, job actions in support of the Chapter’s collective bargaining
ARTICLE VII: NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE
A. The Negotiating Committee shall be appointed by
the President with the approval of the Chapter Executive Board.
B. The Negotiating Committee shall be composed of
the chairperson and at least three (3) additional members of the AFEC /
C. The Negotiating Committee shall function under
negotiating policies determined by the Chapter’s Executive Board.
D. The contract negotiated shall be ratified by
mail ballot of a majority of the membership.
ARTICLE VIII: AMENDMENTS TO THE BY-LAWS
These bylaws may be amended by two-thirds of
those members voting at a regularly scheduled meeting, or a meeting
especially called for such amendment, providing that members have received
written notice and text of proposed amendments at least fourteen days before
such a regular or special meeting is held.