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Support fairness for graduate employees

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Resolution for the Address and Correction of the TA/GA Professional Development Fund (PDF):

Authored By:
Allyssa Sobey and Alexandria Smith

Whereas, the Rutgers AAUP-AFT negotiated a contract with the Rutgers University Administration for graduate students working as teaching and graduate assistants in which a $2.7 million Professional Development Fund (PDF) would be available to all those eligible;

And whereas, Article VIII, Part Four, Section B of the full-time Collective Agreement states that PDF funds are “to be used for activities associated with academic progress toward the degree such as summer support, research support and travel to conferences”;

And whereas, the criteria and process for ranking PDF applications provided by the Administration’s Review Committee did not accurately reflect the language or spirit of the contract;

And whereas, request(s) for meaningful feedback to be given to graduate students whose applications were either rejected or partially funded were agreed upon but not executed by the Administration’s Review Committee;

And whereas, in the most recent round of PDF funding (Summer 2016), the Administration’s Review Committee neglected to evaluate 226 or 45.2% of all applications submitted at the New Brunswick campus by choosing to only evaluate applications ranked a “5” by their Graduate Program Directors;

And whereas, the Administration’s Review Committee refuses to accept responsibility for neglecting to review 45.2% of applications by shifting blame to Graduate Program Directors;

And whereas, Rutgers AAUP-AFT has filed a formal grievance against the Administration for failing to comply with the contract;

And whereas, in various meetings to evaluate the Professional Development Fund this past year, graduate students, Graduate Program Directors, and administrators of the graduate school have admitted to the failure of the Professional Development Fund;

Be it Hereby Resolved that:

  1. The remaining $1.55 million of the Professional Development Fund will be made available in one final application period that will be completed by March 1, 2017.
  2. All eligible graduate student applicants will be given an equal portion of that $1.55 million pool of funds that’s paid prior to May 1, 2017.

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