Colloquially in CFA, we often call our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) “the contract.” As in, “What does the contract say about appointment rights?”
And yet, when faculty sign the piece of paper (or electronic document) detailing the conditions of our employment (“a contract”), this is technically called our “appointment letter.”
Article 12 in the CBA outlines appointment rights for all faculty – probationary, tenured, and on temporary appointments (even as we know that many faculty on “temporary” appointments have lifelong careers in the CSU, as “forever temporary” employees).
Faculty have the right to clear and timely information about the conditions of our employment under any given appointment. This is especially important for instructional Lecturers, whose teaching assignments, and therefore appointments, can shift from term to term. In fact, according to Article 12.1, “No employee shall be deemed appointed in the absence of an official written notification from the President.” (Note: a designee of the President may also issue an appointment.) In other words, until you receive an appointment letter, you technically don’t yet have a job.
What should a correctly written appointment letter include? Article 12.2 outlines what is required, stipulating:
“Official notification to an employee of an appointment shall include the beginning and ending dates of appointment, classification, time base, salary, rank when appropriate, employee status, assigned department or equivalent unit, and other conditions of employment.”
If you are an instructional Lecturer, for example, you should know:
- how many weighted teaching units (WTUs) you are being assigned to teach (e.g., time base, with 15 WTUs in a semester equaling a 1.0 time base);
- your salary (e.g. a clear dollar amount should be listed);
- your rank (e.g., Lecturer A, B, C, or D);
- in what department(s) or program(s) your teaching assignment resides; and,
- the duration of the appointment (e.g., a semester? one year? three years?).
If you receive an appointment letter that does not include all of these elements, or if you are teaching and still have not received your appointment letter for Fall 2023, contact your chapter’s faculty rights representative immediately to discuss a possible Article 12 grievance.