Frequently Asked Questions About Joining a Union

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Why should I get involved with an adjunct union when I don’t know if I’ll be teaching here in a year?

If not you, then who? Adjuncts who are currently employed at Temple and Philadelphia University have a vote over whether they and future generations of adjuncts get to have a meaningful voice in determining their pay and working conditions. Also, any improvements we can make here can serve to raise standards for adjuncts at other institutions across the country.

Will the union make me go on strike?

Strikes are ALWAYS a last resort, and such an action would require a democratic vote of the membership. Short of striking, there is an array of tactics we can use to put pressure on the Temple administration to settle a good contract, without threatening the external funding that supports us.

How much are union dues?

Union dues are set by a democratic vote of the membership. UAP dues are $11/month and will be charged once we win an election at Philadelphia University.

What can the union guarantee me?

There are no guarantees, except that as a group we will get a seat at the table with administration to negotiate a contract. We can propose the changes we’d like to see in the job and preserve the things we currently like and, unlike now, the administration will have to negotiate with us over changes they want to make in our salaries and benefits.

Will my present job be put in jeopardy if I vote yes or no?

Organizing and supporting a union is a legally protected activity. It is illegal for any college–Temple University or Philadelphia University–to discriminate against an employee in terms of hiring, firing, layoffs or promotions because of their union activity. If you feel this has occurred, please contact the union office immediately.

What is UAP?

United Academics of Philadelphia, American Federation of Teacher’s (AFT) Local 9608 is an organization that seeks to unify and support the nearly 15,000 adjunct instructors currently working in Philadelphia-area colleges. As a vital but often underrepresented element of higher education, UAP believes that together adjuncts can accomplish what cannot achieve as individuals.  To ensure respect, security, fair pay and benefits from our institutions of employment, UAP is advocating for the unionization of adjuncts at Philadelphia-area colleges. Members from colleges and universities across the region with and without collective bargaining agreements are becoming members of UAP.

What's happening at my school?

You can check out this map to see if there are any UAP members at your school yet, and you can contact us if you want more information about how to start organizing where you work. 

What is the AFT?

The American Federation of Teachers is a union that represents more than 1.3 million professionals in higher education, health care, public employment and K-12 school districts across the country. Representing more than 200,000 professionals in the country, 100,000 who are contingent faculty, makes the AFT the largest union in higher education. For more information, check out http://www.reclaimhighered.org/ and http://www.aft.org