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Faculty Rights Tip: What the W? What is a “WTU” and What Does It Mean for “Workload?”

WTU stands for Weighted Teaching Unit. WTUs represent the effort and value assigned to instructional faculty work. (Coaches, Counselors, and Librarians work in 40-hour or less workweeks without reference to WTUs to measure their work.)

Often WTUs correspond to the number of units students get for a course. But because WTUs are weighted, they might differ from the units students receive. The number of WTUs assigned to a course takes into account the mode of instruction, number of students, contact hours, preparation, and other factors set out in Article 20 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

WTUs are also used for measuring non-instructional work like compensated creative and scholarly work, committee work, release time for projects, union work, etc.

In the CSU, full-time, instructional faculty are assigned 15 WTUs of work each term, and the approach to measuring work in this way predates collective bargaining and most of our start dates in the CSU.

In rough terms, 3 WTUs equal 20% of a full-time position. Doing basic math, dividing assigned WTUs by 15, one can see that 6 WTUs = 40% of a full-time load; 9 WTUs = 60%; and so on.

As we head into bargaining, faculty workload will be an important issue. Make sure to attend upcoming bargaining roadshows to discuss this topic further.

If you believe you have been assigned an excessive or unreasonable workload, that the WTUs you are receiving are not appropriate for your effort/labor, it is in the interest of our students, institutions, communities, and our profession to address your questions and correct any problems. Contact your local CFA faculty rights representative right away.

  • See previous Faculty Rights Tips on a range of topics in our contract. 
  • If you have questions about a faculty rights tip or would like to suggest a tip please write us with the subject line “Faculty Rights Tip.”

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