Our Union

History

The Union of Part-Time Faculty, AFT Local 477, AFL-CIO was officially recognized as the sole collective bargaining agent for part-time faculty at Wayne State University after our successful recognition vote in April 2007. In other words, that’s when we stopped being individual part-timers and became a union. In that time, we’ve had a number of success, including winning consistent salary increases in each academic year since our first contract.

We represent all part-time faculty at Wayne State University, and the collective bargaining agreement (the contract) shapes the working conditions for all PTF, no matter their member status.

The part-time faculty at WSU are the union. We became a union, in part, because our voices were not heard at WSU, and we want all of our members to be actively engaged in making decisions for the union. As a part of our commitment to transparency, our annual budgets and financial reviews are available below.

The Union Council is the official leadership body of the union. Four of the seven officers are elected; the other three are appointed. Each elected officer serves a two-year term. Our current leadership is listed below.

Appointed Committee Chairs

Deborah Kingery,
Communications Chair

Jacey Sanders,
Elections Chair

Nancy Welter,
Executive Director and Organizing Chair



How you can participate in the union

Two incredibly important ways to participate in the union are through becoming a steward and joining committee(s). Stewards, as described in the brochure, linked at the button above, have several tasks:

  • Act as a liaison between UPTF members in his/her department or school and the Union Council—gathering and conveying information from one to the other;
  • Become familiar with our contract, and be able to answer questions about it raised by members in his/her department or school, or refer them to someone with an answer;
  • Recruit members from his/her department or school to be active in the union;
  • Help members in his/her department or school to resolve work related problems, by meeting with the appropriate people and by encouraging a collective approach where possible;
  • Help members in his/her department or school to file grievances, when necessary, and participate in the resolution of grievances and/or assist in arbitrations if necessary.

Committees are the lifeblood of a successful union. They’re one way for members to participate in decision-making and shape the future of the union. We are actively recruiting members to serve on several committees:

  • Bargaining Committee: The committee meets over the summer to draft the survey that will be shared with the membership throughout Fall 2022. Toward the end of the semester, the committee will meet to examine the results of the survey and set the priorities for our next collective bargaining agreement, which we will likely begin to negotiate in January 2023. Serving on the Bargaining Committee does not mean that you will be required to be on the Bargaining Team (the group that negotiates the agreement with the Administration’s Team).
  • Mentoring Committee: The goal of the Mentoring Committee is to re-launch the Mentoring Program. This group will set the requirements for a PTF who wishes to become a Mentor, examine applications from potential Mentors, and assign Mentees to Mentors. Much of the work of this committee will likely take place during the Summer; limited meetings will be required in Fall and Winter.
  • Organizing Committee: This committee seeks to grow the union’s strength through building its membership. During a contract year, this committee also plans rallies and events to support the Bargaining Team.
  • Communications Committee: The Communications Committee will establish a communication strategy to support the Bargaining Team as the union negotiates its next agreement with the Administration.
  • Political Committee: This committee seeks to increase the involvement of our members in the political process through donations to the AFT-Michigan PAC and support of endorsed candidates. Our focus will likely be on state-level candidates and candidates for the WSU Board of Governors.

    Interested? Email uptfaft@gmail.com for more information!