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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Affirming Labor Equity for Adjunct Teachers and Graduate Employees

1997 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Detroit, Michigan


The increasing reliance on graduate students and adjunct faculty threatens to compromise the integrity of academic programs. The quality of teaching is not at issue. However, inadequate working conditions interfere with the ability of these teachers to give students a high quality education.

The law is an important instrument in shaping staffing patterns in higher education, both through funding initiatives (such as California's 1988 act A.B. 1725, which provides incentives for community colleges to move toward a staffing pattern of 75 percent full-time instructors) and labor-equity decisions (such as recent decisions at the state and federal level determining the right of graduate employees at both public and private universities to collective bargaining).

These developments have prompted NCTE to join other organizations, among them the Modern Language Association (MLA), American Historical Association (AHA), and American Association of University Professors (AAUP), to examine how the increasing reliance on graduate students and non-tenure-track faculty affects higher education. Be it therefore


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English reaffirm and extend its commitment to improving the status of part-time faculty; and

     that NCTE join other disciplinary and higher-education groups in encouraging legislative and policy bodies to adopt and fund initiatives that provide for labor equity in graduate employee and adjunct work.

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