STJ-AAUP Chapter

Welcome to the St. John's Chapter of the AAUP Inc., New York.

Congratulations to all St. John's faculty! We signed our 2023-2025 contract in August 16, 2023.

See the full Collective Bargaining Agreement here (CBA 2022-25) and the revised Statutes here (July 2023). Both passed by a vote of almost 9 to 1 (509 yes votes; 57 no)

The university is then required to pay retroactive payments for last year‘s raises within 45 days, by the Oct 1st pay period at the latest, but the university will likely do so before. Thanks for your support!

Adjunct Health Assistance

The administration continues to provide annual health insurance assistance to adjuncts who teach regularly at St. John's. Payments may be up to $1500 a year. Faculty must apply by January 31st each year. Here is a link to the short application form, which must be notarized. Contact Mirian Cepeda ( at Human Resources if you have questions---it is an easy process to apply.

Here are the qualifications, according to the Human Resources office:

(1) The adjunct must be a “continuing adjunct” as defined in the contract—see “Appendix C”, basically having taught two consecutive semesters.

(2) They must complete a notarized certification no later than January 31 of the year following the year they request the reimbursement. So if they are applying for academic year 2022-23 they have until January 31, 2023 to apply. The payment should be made by the next pay period, February 15.

Graduate Student Adjunct Health Benefits:

Graduate students are eligible for health care through the university at around $2520 a year---the premium varies from year to year: 


On June 8, 2020 both faculty unions received a petition signed by nearly 250 faculty, encouraging them to develop more anti-racist practices and policies. Our Executive Council, many of whom signed the original petition, responded with a pledge to improve SJU-AAUP Inc. as an anti-racist organization. On November 10, 2020, SJU-AAUP Inc. adopted a new Constitution which doubled the number of college representatives to the Council; added adjunct, contract, and equity representatives to the Council; and codified an online election system and online voting processes for chapter meetings. 

What Does a Faculty Union Do?

As you'll learn below in our history, a union is principally there to bargain with the administration on behalf of the faculty for wages, benefits, and working conditions as codified in the contract (formally called, "the collective bargaining agreement," or CBA; and the University Statutes, which also specify many faculty working conditions.) Although the outcome is never perfect, it is a very different system than one where faculty are forced to accept changes in their workplace without formal faculty input as in non-unionized schools! The CBA is typically negotiated in 2- or 3-year intervals, depending on the financial outlook of our school. (When negotiations run overtime, as they have during the past years' of finance and health crises, the workplace terms of the last CBA remain binding---back raises are paid in a lump sum retroactively when the overdue contract is signed.)

At St. John's we are an "open shop" which means that faculty aren't required to pay their unions any dues or financial support at all--it is strictly voluntary even though all faculty are equally protected by the contracts we bargain whether they are dues-paying union supporters or not. Because support of our unions is voluntary, we have a much smaller revenue base than large "closed shop" public unions, like CUNY's, where dues are required and automatically deducted from faculty paychecks. As of of 2022, CUNY's union charged 1.05% of the yearly salary for full-timers, or over $1000 a year for a faculty member making 100K a year. In contrast, SJU-AAUP Inc. contribution rates are much lower. Almost all of SJU-AAUP's annual receipts barely pay for our legal bills, insurances, and website. Some unions support scholarships, research initiatives, and educational programs---we can't afford to do those sorts of things because our resources are entirely devoted to settling disputes with the administration over the essential parts of our jobs like course assignments and load, faculty leaves, human resources disputes and the like. So if you wonder why your union doesn't do "X" for you beyond securing bread-and-butter issues, sometimes it is because of limited support. None of our officers are paid, and most do not even get a course reduction to do this work.

Who Is In Our Bargaining Unit?

Appendix B of our CBA defines who the unions advocate for, and the definition of this unit was approved by the state Department of Labor during SJU's unionization in 1970. Basically, all teaching faculty at St. John's are part of our bargaining unit (full-time and adjunct), with the exception of faculty administrators like Asst/Assoc/Deans or Vice/Provosts, and graduate students who teach through SJU fellowships. (Unfunded graduate students who simply teach as adjuncts ARE part of the unit, however). It is common for some administrators who hold faculty appointments, such as the President, Provost, or minor Deans, to teach classes, but they are classified as outside our unit because of their administrative roles and titles.   

Our Chapter's History

The St. John's University local chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), Inc., is the oldest faculty union on campus, first organized in 1961. Its work led to the historic St. John's University faculty contract of 1970-2: for the first time at a private college in the United States, faculty collectively bargained for their employment conditions. Because of political turmoil during the early years of unionization at St. John's, the bargaining unit at the university is split equally between two faculty unions: the local SJU-AAUP Inc. chapter, and the Faculty Association (FA). Faculty members may join one, both, or neither, but all faculty vote on the contract after it has been negotiated for them by representatives from our two unions. Although the reasons for having two distinct unions are now simply a matter of SJU's history, rulings of the National Labor Relations Board since the 1980 Yeshiva case make a merger of the two unions a difficult task. For more details on the history of the two unions, and the repercussions of the Yeshiva case on a merger, see the 2008 Newsletter See also our link to the 1967 book, Crisis at St. John's, written by two SJU sociologists.

Voting and Membership

Faculty who wish to vote in the SJU-AAUP Inc. local chapter elections must support the local chapter as well as pay dues to the national AAUP (as of January 2023: $261/yr Fulltime; New FT members $144/yr; Adjuncts and Graduate students $102/yr). Please keep in mind that the combined local and national AAUP dues are still very low. Regardless of how you feel about union politics, remember that unionized faculty generally have higher salaries and benefits than non-unionized faculty. It costs little to support us, and you get a lot back.

© St. John's University AAUP chapter
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