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Talking Points - Faculty Program Coordinators

The Problem?

  • Faculty routinely spend more time fulfilling their coordinator responsibilities than they are compensated for.
  • Faculty often perform coordinator responsibilities in the summer to ensure a successful Fall Quarter, but they aren’t usually compensated for the work.
  • Coordinators are often asked or expected to do work outside the scope of program coordination.
  • Faculty often have the mistaken notion that the faculty program coordinator is their boss as a result of unclear boundaries and a lack of involvement by the unit administrator.
  • The basis for compensation seems inconsistent and arbitrary; it is unclear why a coordinator in one program has release time, while another has 6 hours per week.

The Solution?

  • AFT Seattle’s proposal of $55.oo an hour for non-instructional work more accurately reflects the expertise we bring to the tasks we are asked to do as coordinators as well as the importance of these tasks to program viability.
  • We proposed specific criteria which should be used to calculate the appropriate compensation.
  • Our proposal specifies the boundaries of the coordinator’s role, providing clarity regarding the rights of all faculty to participate in various processes.
  • It also reinforces the nonsupervisory status of the role.

Challenges?

  • Faculty have been subsidizing the colleges by fulfilling work well beyond what they are compensated for.  We have to be willing to stop volunteering.
  • The cost for fair compensation is high, both in terms of the increased rate of pay and a more accurate number of hours.
  • Campus reorganizations have resulted in administrators taking on additional responsibilities, resulting in more work for coordinators and less clarity of the boundaries between coordinator and unit administrator.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

1.   Discuss this issue with your unit administrator.
2.  Realistically assess what you can do in the number of hours allocated for coordination.
3.  Discuss the high cost of insufficient coordination for the program.
4.  Sign up to observe negotiations and show up to support the team when asked.