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The Point: Meet the Lecturer Equity Caucus!


This week’s point was written by a group of colleagues active in the recent formation of the Lecturer Equity Caucus

Greetings, Colleagues:

We write to you amidst this chaotic finals period to introduce the Lecturer Equity Caucus of the FSU (LEC for short), and to invite your participation in the months ahead.  We are currently planning for summer organizing and a likely Fall petition drive, focused on ‘Raising the Floor’ for our least compensated faculty colleagues, and also on ‘Making every course credit count’ when it comes to both promotion and retirement. We’d also like to more broadly publicize some key facts about NTT faculty and our working conditions at UMB…

Did you know?

UMass Boston has TWO Faculty Tracks: Tenure-Track & Lecturer-Track

Like tenure-track faculty, many on the Lecturer track (known as Non-Tenure Track in our Collective Bargaining Agreement) are full-time faculty, while many others work part-time.  Lecturer-track faculty positions are most often teaching-focused, but also include clinical- or training-focused positions. Some Lecturers also manage programs here at UMB, do research, and/or even chair departments. Far from “adjuncts,” many Lecturers have worked here for decades, and are core to the UMB mission.

The LEC emphasizes that WE ARE ALL FACULTY.

So, did you know?

·        Lecturers make up the majority of the faculty at UMB

·        Lecturers teach around 2/3 of UMB's undergraduate classes

·        Almost all new NTT hires at UMB are now hired as “Associate Lecturers” who are paid substantially less than Lecturers and lack many FSU contract protections

·        Full-time Associate Lecturers, even teaching a 4/4 course load, make barely over $42,000 (pre-tax), significantly less than the current estimated living wage for a single-individual household in the                  Boston area

Our Lecturer Equity Caucus is committed to building fellowship and solidarity among NTT/Lecturer-track faculty on our campus, and to highlighting and organizing around issues that are flagrantly unfair, focusing especially on ‘Raising the Floor’ for our least supported members.  We are also mindful of the need to work in alliance and unity with our tenure-track colleagues, and so welcome TT faculty friends who share our goals of lecturer equity to join us in this effort.  We believe that improving the equitable treatment of Lecturer faculty on campus can strengthen our Faculty Staff Union as a whole, improve our campus culture, help lighten the burden on TT faculty as well as Lecturers, and help us all to better support our students and our public urban mission. Our Caucus is committed to addressing both ‘bread and butter’ issues as well as the deeper systemic issues of stigma, exclusion, and marginalization that so many Lecturers face, despite the historic efforts of our strong and progressive Faculty Staff Union.

Did you also know?

·        Many Lecturers want to be full-time, but must still scramble for their classes each semester

·        Many Lecturers who qualify for Continuing Appointments find that they are being given ‘low ball’ contracts by Admin that under-count the % FTE work they’ve done

·        The Summer and Winter courses that many Lecturers depend on DO NOT COUNT AT ALL towards either promotion or retirement, and are also paid much less than Fall and Spring courses  

·        Many Lecturers perform institutional service (and scholarly research) similar to tenure-track colleagues, and yet are not given material compensation or recognition from UMB 

·        Most Lecturers are still denied a meaningful vote in departmental decisions

Our caucus is founded on the recognition that Lecturers at UMB have a diverse range of interests but also the belief that we all have a shared interest in EQUITY, making sure that we are treated fairly for all the work we do for UMB, whatever it may be.

In the days ahead we hope to help Lecturers:

·        Survey our fellow Lecturers to learn more about what our main concerns are

·        Make sure Lecturer Equity concerns are at the forefront in the next round of FSU contract bargaining, and that we’re organized to push for the changes we need

·        Build solidarity across all faculty ranks, around the goals of equitable treatment for all

·        Make the most of our new voices on the Faculty Council, which now (finally!) includes Lecturer representation

·        Get full credit and compensation for every credit hour Lecturers teach

·        Improve job security and pay equity for Associate Lecturers, our most vulnerable members

·        Have our voices heard at all levels of university governance

·        And much more!

This is your union! Please contact us at (or at our individual UMB emails) to let us know what Lecturer Equity would look like to you.

In Solidarity and Fellowship,

Anna Beckwith, Senior Lecturer II, Sociology

Lynne Benson, Lecturer, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Daria Boeninger, Senior Lecturer, Psychology

Dana Commesso, Senior Lecturer II, Exercise and Health Sciences

Monique Fuguet, Senior Lecturer, Mathematics

Christopher Fung, Senior Lecturer, Anthropology

Susanna Gallor, Senior Lecturer, Psychology

Linda Ai-Yun Liu, Lecturer, Sociology

Jon Millman, Senior Lecturer II, Economics

Joseph G. Ramsey, Senior Lecturer, English and American Studies

Tracey Rogers, Senior Lecturer, Psychology

Amy Todd, Senior Lecturer II, Anthropology

For information on the FSU, links to our contract and bargaining updates, and a calendar of events, see the FSU webpage