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Working Conditions Statement 2017

The board approved the working conditions statement below on June 12, 2017 and moved that it should be placed on the summer 2017 ballot for approval or rejection by the SCS membership.

This statement, if approved by the members, will replace the current language on working conditions in Section I of the current SCS Professional Ethics Statement.

Proposed new text on Working Conditions:

While policies and resources vary from one institution to the next, the SCS subscribes to the view that the discipline will be best served when all members of the profession enjoy favorable and equitable working conditions. It is important that departments be administered in a spirit of collegiality, fairness, and respect. A working environment must be created and maintained that is free of bias, discrimination, harassment, and intimidation.  Tenure-stream faculty should expect that tasks and responsibilities will be shared and that privileges will be fairly awarded, as appropriate or reasonable. Teaching loads should be distributed equitably, and all faculty members should have some choice in the scheduling and assignment of courses. All tenure-stream faculty should have the opportunity to participate in a department’s decisions regarding curriculum and governance, and to participate in personnel decisions, when appropriate. Resources for research and teaching should be made available to all members of a department. Established members of the profession, and in particular the chairs of departments, have an obligation to advise and counsel their colleagues, including those in contingent positions, and should provide an environment that encourages intellectual growth, scholarly achievement, and career development.

Departments must make every effort to offer fair and equitable conditions for all faculty in whatever way is possible within the powers that they have in their College or University. Written guidelines should be available that outline the responsibilities, expectations, and privileges of faculty at all ranks employed by their department. This is especially important for contingent faculty, who often move from school to school and/or teach at multiple institutions. Contingent colleagues should be welcomed into the departmental community on the same basis as those teaching equivalent courses. They should be given adequate resources, and be afforded opportunities for professional development, access to travel funds,  support for research, and the like commensurate with their qualifications and the terms of their employment. They should have office space, email privileges, access to supplies, library, and staff support, and should be included in the departmental website and mailing list. Contingent faculty should be invited to attend department meetings and to present in departmental lecture series, if they so desire.

The SCS views excessive reliance on single-course contracts as unfair to the professionals who hold them and detrimental to student outcomes.  Whenever a department’s teaching need equals or exceeds the number of courses covered by a fulltime faculty member, department chairs should make every effort to have these contracts structured as fulltime appointments with benefits. Those in temporary positions should be fairly compensated for the work they perform in accordance with the experience of the contingent faculty member and the cost of living in that area.  Faculty teaching online courses should be compensated for the use of home offices and for supplies and equipment used. Contingent faculty should be given serious consideration for permanent positions when such positions become available.

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