Developed by the College Section Steering Committee, September 2010
The National Council of Teachers of English endorses the following statements on working conditions and long-term security of employment.
Conditions of Employment
1. Fair Working Conditions
- Appointment/offer letters should clearly describe the position and identify workload distributions.
- Appointments should be made in a timely manner (as opposed, for example, to two weeks before the start of an academic term).
- Annual evaluations should be provided to all faculty members, and should be based on the workload distribution defined in the appointment/offer letter.
- New appointments should receive an appropriate and timely orientation that informs and ensures access to institutional resources, such as access to parking passes, library privileges, computer access, ID cards, assistance with scholarly work, and so on.
- Class size limitations consistent with the recommendations of NCTE and CCCC should be placed on courses taught by faculty members serving in contingent positions.
- Faculty members in contingent positions who have served for three or more years in a program should not be terminated without at least a full term’s notice.
2. Fair Compensation
- Faculty members serving in contingent positions should receive a salary that reflects their teaching duties and any duties outside the classroom they are asked to assume. Compensation, per course, for part-time faculty should never be lower than the per-course compensation for tenure-line faculty with comparable experience, duties, and credentials.
- Faculty members serving in contingent positions should receive annual pay increases consistent with those awarded to tenure-line faculty.
- Faculty members serving in contingent positions should have access to the same benefits packages provide to tenure-line faculty.
- Mechanisms should be developed to allow faculty members serving in contingent positions who are not employed during one or more academic terms (for example, for reasons of childbirth, illness, or other exigencies) to maintain benefits and leave accrual until their return to the institution.
- Faculty members serving in contingent positions should receive support, in the form of office space, secretarial support, access to computers and telephones, access to copying, and so on, comparable to that afforded to tenure-line faculty.
3. Involvement in Shared Governance
- Faculty members serving in contingent positions should be invited to faculty meetings and asked to serve (and, if they agree, compensated for their service) on relevant department, college and university committees.
- Faculty members serving in contingent positions should be involved in the development of evaluation procedures and instruments.
- The rights and responsibilities of faculty in contingent positions should be identified in relevant department, college, and university governing codes.
- Efforts should be made to ensure appropriate and reasonable communication with faculty in contingent positions, so as to more fully involve them in department, college, and university activities and initiatives.
4. Respect and Recognition
- Faculty members serving in contingent positions should be viewed and treated as a valued and integral part of the academic faculty.
- Faculty members serving in contingent positions should have access to most, if not all, of the resources and services that are available to tenure-line faculty, including mentoring programs, support for scholarly work, support for travel, and so on.
- In the event of the conversion of contingent faculty lines to tenure lines, faculty members in those positions should be afforded the opportunity to participate in professional development activities that will prepare them to compete for the tenure-line positions. This might also include the creation of a probationary period in which the current holder of the line is allowed to work toward the fulfillment of the requirements of the new tenure-line position.
Security of Employment
1. Instructors should be afforded the opportunity to earn tenure or, in the alternative, “long-term security of employment” as teaching specialists. Their position descriptions should recognize the specialized nature of their appointments, and evaluations should be tied to those position descriptions and conducted at intervals comparable to those of faculty in traditional tenure-line positions.
This position statement may be printed, copied, and disseminated without permission from NCTE.