1435 Morris Avenue - Suite 3A, Union, NJ 07083
Tim Haresign, President

Does Your Institution Have a
“Shadow Workforce”?

The Council has noticed a disturbing trend of late that involves the colleges and universities hiring so-called temporary, part-time, per diem employees to perform AFT bargaining unit work. Despite this labeling, typically, these individuals work full-time over a period of years, and therefore they are in no way temporary or part-time.

Here’s an example of what is happening at one of our institutions. The University took a professional staff job description, split it in half and hired someone on a part-time, temporary basis to perform half of the duties and responsibilities of the position. This individual receives an annual salary of less than $15,000 paid out quarterly. The same individual then receives an hourly rate or a flat rate to perform the remaining additional duties of the job description. And of course, there are no attached benefits such as health care, pension, vacation and sick leaves.

How do they get away with it? Sometimes, the institutions hire these people under the guise of the Civil Service classification of Temporary Employee Services (TES). This category of State employment is meant to provide temporary coverage that does not exceed 944 hours within a 12-month period. The NJ public sector unions have called these types of long-term TES employees a “shadow workforce” because they are literally hidden from the unions while they perform bargaining unit work on an ongoing basis without the benefits that accrue to full-time employees.  

Is your colleague part of the “shadow workforce”?

The Union needs your help in finding employees who are being exploited at our institutions.  Is your colleague performing the same or similar AFT work as you, but you’ve been told that they are “temporary”, “part-time” or “hourly workers”? Does your colleague work more than just twenty hours a week over extended periods of time— perhaps years? If so, please contact your local union so we can conduct a discreet investigation.

It’s wrong to treat a full-time worker like a part-timer. And frankly, it’s a contract violation of Article I of our State-Union Agreement.  Article I — the Union’s Recognition Clause — is the foundation of the Union’s right to represent employees covered by the Agreement.  The Union owns this right and it’s our duty to enforce the recognition clause, not only to protect the integrity of our bargaining unit, but also to prevent the continued exploitation of so-called temporary, part-time or hourly workers.