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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHO ARE APEA, AFT, AAUP AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?
United Academics – Adjuncts is a union under a statewide organization, in this case, the Alaska Public Employees Association. Why do we need a statewide umbrella? Because your union dues and the agency fee pay for “service.” Service means that someone has to keep an eye on the university to see that it lives up to its end of the contract. For instance, if an adjunct is fired without cause, the union will file a grievance with the university. If you happen to be that adjunct, that means that someone is dealing with the paperwork and procedures for you – to save your job. The service also includes paying for the negotiating teams in the future and any legal assistance that is needed. Since there are not enough dollars coming in from the adjuncts to have a stand-alone office we will have a joint office with the Alaska Public Employees Association. AFT (American Federation of Teachers) and AAUP (American Association of University Professors) are our national umbrella. They do for us nationally what APEA is doing statewide.

Why should you care?
We have been underpaid, overworked, denied benefits and that’s just the start of the list. But we were treated that way because we did not speak with a single voice. Now we do. And we have some muscular friends on our side of the table – APEA, AFT and AAUP.

WHY SHOULD I BECOME A MEMBER OF THE UNION?
Only union members have a say in what the union does. That includes everything from what is in a proposed contract to how to handle grievances. The monetary benefits also include access to health insurance, discounts at hotels and resorts, car rental upgrades and free publications. In terms of education, the union also offers free, ongoing training for those who want to participate as officers, negotiators, grievance council members and committee chairs. Keep in mind that a union is only as effective as its members are.

CAN I BE A MEMBER OF THE UNION IF I’M NOT TEACHING RIGHT NOW?
Read Article III, Section 2 of the Adjunct Constitution on this web site.

DO I HAVE TO JOIN THE UNION AS A MEMBER?
No. But you will still have to pay an agency fee. Union dues for Members are currently set at 2.5% or your gross. The agency fee will be slightly less than 2.5% of your gross. Why are you paying a fee even if you don’t belong to the union as a member? First, because you will reap the benefits of a wage increase without paying for the negotiating team or the union organization expenses. Second, since the union is the exclusive bargaining agent for the adjuncts, it must represent you in every grievance with the university whether you are a member or not. Considering the very small cash difference between the agency fee and the dues – and the monetary benefits of being a member – it’s probably not worth your while to be a agency fee payer.

 

WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAVE ANY SPECIFIC QUESTIONS?
Go to the Officers Page if you want to contact one of your colleagues who serves as an officer of our union or go to the Contact Us information which is at the bottom of the Home Page. HOW DO I GET A COPY OF THE COURT DECISION ON BARGAINING

RIGHTS FOR ADJUNCTS? 
Click Here for the 1997 Alaska Superior Court Decision affirming Adjuncts' rights to form a union. It's in Adobe's PDF format.




AFT MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, is to improve the lives of our members and their families, to give voice to their legitimate professional, economic and social aspirations, to strengthen the institutions in which we work, to improve the quality of the services we provide, to bring together all members to assist and support one another and to promote democracy, human rights and freedom in our union, in our nation and throughout the world.

From the Futures II report  adopted at the AFT Convention, July 5, 2000