Topic

Coronavirus Tuition Refunds

250 petitions

Update posted 1 year ago

Petition to President Robert Barchi, Board of Governors

We Are Not Disposable: Don’t Let Rutgers Purge Dedicated Teachers!

Monday, April 13, 2020 To President Barchi, the Board of Governors, and the broader Rutgers community: We Are Not Disposable: Don’t Let Rutgers Purge Dedicated Teachers On April 2nd, in response to the COVID-19 health crisis, Rutgers announced a hiring freeze for all employees, including its adjunct faculty (called Part-Time Lecturers or PTLs). As most PTL contracts must be renewed each semester, this “hiring freeze” could effectively amount to termination for many of Rutgers’ most valuable educators. Since April 2nd, top administrators have instructed some university deans to reduce PTL positions by as much as 25 percent, and to also make cuts to curricula. Administrators made these decisions unilaterally, without consulting the labor unions that represent the more than 20,000 workers essential to fulfilling Rutgers’ core mission. Why are administrators endangering the education of our students and threatening to harm the most vulnerable members of its faculty? In response to this outrageous and unfair policy, we, the undersigned, demand the following of the administration: Rescind the April 2nd policy announcing a PTL hiring freeze; Rescind any instructions to Deans to cut PTL hires by 20% or more.  Further, in light of the nature of the COVID-19 health emergency and its implications for the lives and well-being of Rutgers most vulnerable teachers: Immediately provide access to Rutgers health clinics for PTLs, and all other uninsured part-time employees at Rutgers, free of any charge; Provide compensation in the amount of $1,250 per course to PTLs who put in extra hours to rapidly transition to remote instruction; Cancel spring course evaluations because it is unfair to evaluate PTLs for teaching for courses that were transitioned to distance learning; Advance all qualified PTLs applying for promotion this semester (before June 1st), without “classroom” observation; and Recognize and empower a Rutgers Community COVID-19 Task Force in which all stakeholders—representatives of faculty and other Rutgers’ unions, student representatives, and community leaders—are equal partners in crisis response. Context: Rutgers employs roughly 3,000 PTLs statewide, who teach thousands of courses, and tens of thousands of students, every semester. Most PTLs make less than $5,500 per course with no benefits, and have worked overtime this spring without additional compensation for moving courses online. Cutting the number of PTLs not only weakens Rutgers’ primary institutional mission—to educate students—it also makes little financial sense. Reducing PTL courses by 20-25% will net less that $6 million in savings, perhaps far less. If Rutgers needs to save money, why not do what Stanford and other universities have done, and begin with temporary pay cuts for top administrators who have the highest salaries? For example, athletic coaches some of whom earn well over a million dollars, continue to draw salaries even while Rutgers sports are suspended. Additionally, there are 247 administrators at Rutgers who make more than $250,000 a year. Temporarily capping salaries at $250,000 could save $29 million. Further, there is no evidence that the university in fact faces any budgetary emergency. We know that Rutgers retains a “rainy day fund” totaling as much as $805 million, and that it will receive federal stimulus aid (around $55 million). Why not use these funds to ensure the quality education and protect some of the university’s most experienced teachers? Why look to layoff the lowest-paid faculty members, especially when alternative employment is likely to be severely limited due to hiring freezes at other universities? The COVID-19 pandemic is laying bare the inequities in our workforce and our workplaces. Rutgers PTLs stand together, and in solidarity with all members of the Rutgers community and beyond, whose jobs and well-being are threatened by this crisis, to say: “We are not disposable.” Together, we have the power to stop the university’s thoughtless efforts to manage this crisis on the backs of its most vulnerable employees. We, the undersigned, call upon the administration to do the right thing and respond quickly to this petition and its demands. The PTLFC-AAUP-AFT Executive Board Ann Alter Lauren Barbato Frank Bridges Roseli Golfetti Sheryl Goski Amy Higer David Letwin Paul More Heather Pierce Bryan Sacks Dan Sidorick Karen Thompson Alex Walter David Winters Deonca Williams

PTL Faculty Chapter, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
3,550 supporters
This petition won 1 year ago

Petition to Vermont State Senate, Vermont State House, Bernie Sanders, Patrick J. Leahy, Peter Welch, Phil Scott, Alison Clarkson, Peter D. Anthony, Selene Colburn, Barbara Rachelson, Jill Krowinski, Marcia Lawrence Gardner, Anthony Pollina, Brian Collamore, Catherine "Kitty" Toll, Christopher A. Pearson, Kesha Ram, Phil Baruth, Sarah Copeland Hanzas, Tim Ashe, Becca Balint, Diana Gonzalez, Dick Sears, Jr., Jeanette K. White, John Rodgers, Sam Young, Carol Ode, Charlie Kimbell, Vermont State College Board of Trustees, Jeb Spaulding

Securing the Future of the Vermont State Colleges

As we move forward through the COVID-19 crisis we are seeing more and more businesses and communities being impacted negatively by this. The Vermont State Colleges System is no exception to this! This is the true test of the colleges within the system financially. Each of the four institutions that comprise the VSCS is key to the communities they surround and play an important role in the Vermont economy. Without them, this could cause irreversible damage to local economies within the state. Today we are asking for your support to pressure the Governor’s office as well as the State Legislature to give the State College System the financial support that it critically needs and deserves. The system is facing a deficit upwards of $8.5 Million for this year, which will have real and damaging implications. We are proposing that the state give the system enough money to compensate for the deficit and increase the yearly state appropriation from covering only 18% of the system’s cost to requesting an additional $25 million on top of the current appropriation. The system has been long plagued by state appropriation shortfalls from the state which has led the schools to struggle.  Northern Vermont University-Lyndon, Northern Vermont University-Johnson, Castleton University, Vermont Tech, and Community College of Vermont employ over 1,800 people in every county across the state and provides an education to over 11,000 students, 83% of whom are Vermont residents. Reviving the VSCS is key in reviving rural Vermont and providing not only Vermonters but people from all over this country with the essential skills needed in today’s economy. Northern Vermont University alone contributes about $113 million to the economy. Downsizing even one campus will have significant and long-term impacts on the surrounding communities.   A little about myself. My name is Patrick Wickstrom and I currently attend Northern Vermont University - Lyndon studying both Atmospheric and Climate Change Science. I also serve as the Financial Controller for our Student Government Association, am a Resident Assistant, captain of the Men’s Tennis Team, and a very active member of this campus and its community. My story starts at a young age when I learned I had a passion for weather and growing up in North Texas with our severe weather only grew that passion. When I was about 11 or 12 years old, I learned about a school called Lyndon State College, now Northern Vermont University, and fell in love with it. It was always my dream to attend Lyndon because of the quality of its Atmospheric Sciences Department. As it came time to apply to college, I only applied to one school, Lyndon. I could’ve applied and gone to Texas A&M, Texas Tech, University of Louisiana Monroe, but instead, I chose Lyndon. I knew that going to a smaller school far from home was the right choice for me. When I finally arrived in January of 2019, it was everything I thought it would be. I have made some of the best friends of my life, made connections with faculty and staff that I wouldn’t have elsewhere, and been given opportunities of a lifetime.  I even stayed in the summer of 2019 to work at Mountainview Country Club because I fell in love with the state of Vermont so much. Going to school at NVU - Lyndon has been the best decision of my life and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. Supporting our school and the VSC helps students like me reach their goals and brings people to the great state of Vermont, which helps support its economy.

Patrick Wickstrom
47,779 supporters