First Edition | Fall 2016

Welcome to your first edition of the Tufts Full-Time Lecturers' Union Newsletter, to be published once a semester and once in the summer. We hope this will be a forum for learning about and engaging in the life of our union. It will focus on issues of importance related to negotiations, contracts, and implementation of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). We also hope you will use this information to reach out to your full-time lecturer colleagues and engage them in this democratic process. 

Our union has made great progress since the end of bargaining and the beginning of the first three-year CBA. In this edition we introduce you to the FT Lecturer representatives, provide up-to-date information on Equity and Excellence distributions, the Professional Development Fund, and present some opportunities for participation.


You Have a Representative

All 107 members of the Full-Time Lecturers' Union at Tufts have each been assigned a representative (also FT Lecturers) whose job it is to make sure you get the most out of the CBA. Many of the representatives were members of the bargaining committee and they have volunteered to serve as your connection to our union and the University. The representatives can help with issues surrounding CBA implementation and questions regarding specific procedures outlined in the CBA.

Here's a list of our 13 representatives:
  • Anne Mahoney, Classics
  • David Proctor, History
  • Danny McCusker, Drama and Dance
  • Hilary Binda, SMFA at Tufts
  • Jacob Benner, Earth and Ocean Sciences
  • Karen Kosinski, Community Health
  • Martha Pott, Child Study and Human Development
  • Matthew Harrington, Classics & Archaeology
  • Penn Loh, UEP
  • Ryan Redmond, Education
  • Sergiy Kryatov, Chemistry
  • Sheriden Thomas, Drama and Dance
  • Susan Russinoff, Philosophy

If you are not sure who represents you, please contact any one of the above reps, or Carley Russell.
Focus on our Contract: Equity and Excellence Pool
from Danny McCusker and Anne Mahoney

Note: Anne Mahoney, Classics, and Danny McCusker, Drama & Dance, volunteered to be representatives to the committee to determine equity and excellence distributions for the first year of the CBA.

This pool of salary money was set aside to address equity issues in the distribution of salaries among full-time lecturers, and to provide the administration a vehicle for merit rewards. In the first year of the CBA this pool is $10,000 for the entire unit. It grows to $75,000 in each of FY'18 and FY'19. Money from this fund is added to base salary, beyond other provisions for salary raises in the CBA.

Recently a survey was distributed to members via Qualtrics that assessed the members' preferences for how this money should be distributed. The survey was completed by 71% of the membership. At a recent (10/12) post-survey meeting with the administration, we recommended modest increases for a group of about 20 lecturers, typically $400-$500. We took into consideration equity issues: lecturers with the lowest salaries and lecturers whose increases under the CBA did not amount to 5% (those in the middle of the salary range). This list encompassed eight (out of sixteen) individuals who appeared on chairs' or deans' lists of equity/merit recommendations.

As the discussions continue for the coming years, it is important to remember that we are still determining how this process should function at Tufts. We are making plans for improvements to the announcement, timing and nomination procedures in future contract years, including an avenue for self-nomination for equity and excellence increases if your department is not submitting for those on your behalf.

Focus on our Contract: Professional Development Fund
from Matthew Harrington

Among its provisions, the CBA established a Professional Development Fund (PDF) of $15,000 per semester, to reimburse full-time lecturers for professional development expenses of up to $650 per faculty member per fiscal year (which runs from  July 1  to  June 30 ). The PDF became operational September 1, 2016. Funds not used in the Fall semester may be rolled over to the Spring semester; however, these funds will not roll over from one fiscal year to the next. Senior Lecturers will receive personal professional development accounts with $750 per fiscal year that must be exhausted prior to application to the general PDF; these accounts are in the process of being set up.

It is important that you know how these funds can be used. The activities, expenses, and material resources listed below are eligible to be reimbursed or paid for through the Fund:
  • Conference- registration, travel, or accommodations 
  • Workshop, training session 
  • Courses for continuing education, tuition and book
  • Books for curriculum development and teaching
  • Professional association dues 
  • Journal subscriptions related to teaching, not available through Tisch Library 
  • Curriculum-driven teaching aids 
  • Hardware and software beyond what is provided by your department for curriculum development and teaching 
  • Other equipment - instruments, mats, screens, fabrics, art supplies, and furnishings not otherwise provided 
  • Archival documentation-hiring people to record classes, performances, workshops, exhibits, experiments, and other teaching events 
  • Civic engagement- activities that enhance pedagogy and student learning outcomes by engaging students in civic and social issues, community-based projects, and community-based events
A past activity or expense must have occurred within 6 months of the date of application. A future activity or purchase must occur within 6 months after the date of application. When applying for the Fund, full-time faculty members must indicate how the activity, purchase, or material resource a) relates to the courses they teach at Tufts, b) enhances their pedagogy, and c) contributes to their professional development. Attach appropriate documentation.

To apply for PD funds, please submit an application as soon as you determine your need. As of October 23, there have been 22 approved applications averaging $425. At this rate of utilization, there are sufficient funds for 13 more requests, and some funds from the Fall 2016 semester allocation may remain available until late November. 

Questions? Want to get involved?

If you're a dues-paying member of SEIU 509 for at least 6 months, you may want to consider election to the Joint Executive Board (JEB), the main governing body of SEIU 509. The Higher Ed Chapter of SEIU will be seeking more representation from its membership, as it has grown significantly in the past year. The Chapter is allowed one JEB member for every 200 chapter members. 

Contact Carley Russell, for details.

Celia Morris, Higher Ed Chapter President for SEIU 509, is interested in setting up monthly or bi-monthly chapter meetings in the near future. The first meeting was held at the SEIU 509 Annual Meeting on October 15th. 

If interested in attending these meetings,
contact Celia for more information at