Union Council

Every two years, the membership of the UPTF elects four of the leaders on the Union Council. Members elect the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Our next elections will be held in Fall 2024, with nominations at the Winter 2024 General Membership Meeting, or via petition.

President: Deborah Kingery

A selfie of Deborah Kingery.
Deborah Kingery

I hold a BA in German, a BFA in Fine Arts and an MFA in Photography. I have taught as an Adjunct faculty in the Art and Art History department at Wayne State University for 16 years. I have been active in the UPTF (Union of Part Time Faculty) for 15 years as a member and 10 years on the UPTF Union Council, both as an Organizer and Communications Chair. 

 As our union President, I will pursue growth in our union and continue to reflect the needs of our part-time faculty, invigorate, and seek more opportunities for involvement with our members to achieve equality and fairness in the workplace. 

Secretary: Jan Blaschak

Secretary Jan Blaschak

Vice President: Rochelle Allen

Vice President Rochelle Allen

Treasurer: Karin Tarpenning

Treasurer Karin Tarpenning

I am the current Treasurer for the Union of Part-time Faculty, seeking a third term. I have been adjunct faculty in the department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures since 2005, and as a member of the bargaining team that negotiated our 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020 contracts, I was able to see firsthand how unionization and a strong collective bargaining agreement can greatly improve the working conditions and wages of its members. I welcome the opportunity to continue serving as an officer in the union.

Election Procedures

If a member is interested in running for one of the four positions, it is still possible to be nominated.  In order to qualify for candidacy for any elected position, a person must have been a full Union Dues member of the union for at least 6 months prior to the election. Further, members seeking a nomination may present the Elections Committee a petition supporting their candidacy, signed by at least 20 members of the union in good standing, no later than 30 days in advance of the Fall General Membership Meeting. We ask that members seeking a nomination use this form to gather signatures.

The election itself occurs at the Fall General Membership Meeting. Members, and fair share members, will be notified at least 60 days in advance of the Meeting. Official nominees, with biographical sketches, will be shared at least 15 days in advance of the Meeting.

If candidates are running unopposed, the election may be held by acclaim. If the election is contested, it will be determined by secret ballot under the supervision of the Elections Committee. Only full members may cast a ballot in the election. Fair Share members are eligible to attend the meeting, but they cannot run for office and cannot vote.

The duties and obligations of the elected officers of the union are outlined in Article XI of the Constitution. The Union Council currently consists of four elected officers and three appointed officers. The elected positions are the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary. If there are no candidates for Secretary, the Union Council may decide to merge the Secretary and Treasurer positions, as outlined in Article V, Section 9, of the Constitution. The appointed officers of the Union Council are the Communications Chair, Elections Chair, and Organizing Chair.

State-wide Elections

As this is the first election year with the newly drawn redistricting maps, we encourage all PTF to visit the Michigan Secretary of State Elections webpage to find their district map and a sample ballot for their upcoming elections.

There are lots of ways to help with the elections this year, from volunteering with a candidate’s campaign to knocking on doors with fellow union members. As we get closer to the elections, we’ll list more opportunities here. One way that you can participate is to donate to the AFT-Michigan Political Action Committee. The AFT-MI PAC works to elect education-friendly candidates across Michigan. You can read more about it and donate here. Per federal guidelines, only U.S. citizens can donate to a PAC.

Endorsed candidates for Board of Governors
As one of the three constitutional universities in Michigan, the Wayne State University Board of Governors is elected via a state-wide election.