Q: Does Gallaudet have an official AAUP Chapter?
A: Yes. We were recognized by the National AAUP in March, 2021. As of December 2022, we had 52 dues-paying members, representing 30% of the faculty.
Q: What issues does the Gallaudet AAUP focus on?
A: At our first meeting as an official chapter, we unanimously voted to focus on salary and compensation. This includes the loss of General Pay Increases (GPIs) and Merit Increases (MIs). These used to happen annually before 2009. Up until 2009, Gallaudet faculty salaries were above average for the Washington, DC area. However, because of the loss of regular merit increases and general pay increases since 2009, Gallaudet has become one of the lowest-paying universities in the DC area.
Q: How is the AAUP different from UF Governance?
A: UF Governance is an integral part of Gallaudet’s daily operations and has broad responsibilities. AAUP is an external advocacy organization that focuses on the narrower issues of faculty well-being, shared governance, and academic freedom. Our goal is to work with UF Governance and the administration on these issues.
Q: I am faculty and have a meeting with an administrator about my job. Can the AAUP represent me?
A: Yes! This is one of the benefits of joining the Gallaudet AAUP. We can send one of our Executive Committee members to high-stakes meetings that you have with administrators, for example, employment negotiations, disciplinary meetings, or reporting an incident.
Q: Is joining the AAUP expensive?
A: Membership fees are based on your salary level. As of 2021, dues ranged from $67 to $298 per year.
Q: Is joining the AAUP worth it?
Absolutely, yes! If your AAUP chapter, through advocating for faculty, is able to improve your salary as much as the cost of an annual AAUP membership (which is about 0.2% of your salary), then you have just paid your membership dues for life.
For example, if your salary is $75,000, your dues are $223 a year. If the AAUP is able to advocate for you and lobby Gallaudet to give all faculty a 1% raise, just once in your entire career, your salary will have gone up by $750. You’ve paid your AAUP dues for life, and you still have $527 left over, every year until you leave Gallaudet. (Taxes are left out of this calculation for simplicity).
Keep in mind that workers who are represented by a collective or union earn, on average, 20% more than workers who aren’t represented by one. This has been true across industries. Having an organization that constantly advocates for you is well worth the cost of dues.
Q: Has the Gallaudet AAUP had any success on the salary issue?
A: Looking back at our AAUP chapter’s short, two-year history: soon after our AAUP chapter became official in March 2021, Gallaudet gave most faculty a 3% raise, after having given no raises, at all, in four years. Then, the following year (2022), Gallaudet gave an additional 3% raise to all faculty. This is a total of a 6% increase over two years. Was this a coincidence? We don’t think so. Gallaudet had a precedent of not giving raises, not even adjustments for inflation. We think that the AAUP’s advocacy efforts were a part of this sudden break in precedence.
Q: How does the Gallaudet AAUP advocate for salaries?
We have been providing the Gallaudet community with accurate and up-to-date information about salaries at comparable institutions. We obtain our data from the federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), maintained by the U.S. Department of Education, and the AAUP Faculty Compensation Survey. Before the Gallaudet AAUP began making this information easily accessible, it was difficult for most faculty to find this information. This meant that the Gallaudet administration had the upper hand in any salary discussions. By sharing accurate salary data, we are empowering our faculty to stand up and ask for the salaries that we deserve.
Q: I like what the AAUP is doing, but I don’t necessarily want to join. Is this okay?
A: Please consider joining. If being a known member is a concern, know that we will always keep your membership anonymous. We want you to join because our numbers give us strength at the negotiating table.
Q: If I join the AAUP, will the administration know that I am a member?
A: No. We respect your confidentiality. The National AAUP will never disclose your name. They will only divulge the number of members that a chapter has. Likewise, the Gallaudet chapter does not share our roster with anyone. Only the chapter President and Vice President have access to the roster. We do not share this roster with the rest of the AAUP Executive Committee, or with our chapter members. For our daily operations, we really don’t need to access the roster. We are keeping the roster hidden to prevent any chance of accidental disclosure.
Q: Is the Gallaudet AAUP a union?
A: No, we are not an union. The Gallaudet AAUP chapter is an advocacy chapter. The National AAUP supports both advocacy chapters and union chapters. Of note, the National AAUP recently merged with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), a large union with 1.7 million members.