Previous information of interest to Part-Time Faculty:
Crowdsourcing service from The Chronicle of Higher Education provides data on adjunct salaries, plus shared advice. Also allows faculty to submit their own salary data.
Part-Timer Unemployment Insurance Benefits
All part-time faculty members should remember that you are eligible for unemployment compensation benefits over the summer break and between semesters, unless you are working another job over the summer or between semesters and you are earning more than your unemployment grant would be.
As soon as you give your last final exam, you should contact the local Employment Development Dept. (EDD) office and file a claim, or reactivate the one you have from last winter (if you applied between semesters). If it is a new claim, you will have a one-week waiting period before benefits start, so do not delay. You can also claim for the period between regular terms and summer school.
When applying, tell them about all your jobs, since your benefit is based on all your income over the previous year. When they ask if you have a job to go back to after summer break, you should answer: “Not with reasonable assurance. I only have a tentative assignment contingent on enrollment, funding and program needs.”
This is important. Do not just tell them that you have an assignment for Fall or Spring or you will be disqualified.
According to the Cervisi decision of the State Court of Appeals, part-timers, as a class, do not have “reasonable assurance” of a job and hence are eligible for benefits between terms. If questioned further, mention the Cervisi case. Be sure to fill out all job search forms correctly, and appear as directed in person or by phone or mail. You should not have any problems, but if you do and are denied for any reason, call Dan Kaplan in the AFT office (650-574-6491) as soon as possible and the Union will advise you on how to file an appeal. Don’t be reluctant to file. This is your right, not charity.
Viewpoint: Why Don’t We Insist on Equity? (Chronicle of Higher Education, December 2, 2010)
Click on the link above for the full survey
(from AFT’s American Academic)
Most Americans would be surprised to learn that almost three-quarters of the people employed today to teach undergraduate courses in the nation’s colleges and universities are not full-time permanent professors but, rather, are instructors employed on limited term contracts to teach anything from one course to a full course load. These instructors, most of whom work on a part-time/ adjunct basis, now teach the majority of undergraduate courses in U.S. public colleges and universities. Altogether, part-time/adjunct faculty members account for 47 percent of all faculty, not including graduate employees. The percentage is even higher in community colleges, with part-time/ adjunct faculty representing nearly 70 percent of the instructional workforce in those institutions.
Plainly, part-time/adjunct faculty members now play a vital role in educating the nation’s college students. Even so, the data and research on part-time/adjunct faculty members have tended to be pretty spotty. This survey, conducted by Hart Research Associates on behalf of the American Federation of Teachers, is one of the first nationwide attempts to really understand the role of part-time/adjunct faculty. Telephone interviews were conducted on a national sample of part-time/adjunct faculty employed in two- and four-year public and private nonprofit higher education institutions. The survey results address three fundamental questions:
■ Who are part-time/adjunct faculty members?
■ Under what conditions do they work?
■ How do they view their work and the challenges they face on campus?
What does the survey tell us? First, it tells us that part-time/adjunct instructors are generally pleased to have teaching jobs and enjoy teaching. Second, the survey tells us that part-time/adjunct faculty members vary considerably in the extent of their participation in the institution as well as their ambitions to teach on a full-time basis.
Third, the survey highlights serious shortcomings in the financial and professional support received by part-time/adjunct instructors, and reveals widespread concern in the ranks about bread-and-butter conditions. Here are some highlights:
■ Most part-time/adjunct faculty members are motivated to work primarily by their desire to teach and have been at their institutions a considerable amount of time. About 57 percent of those surveyed say they are in their jobs primarily because they like teaching, not primarily for the money. This reflects their commitment and passion for the profession but not a high level of satisfaction with their working conditions, which a significant majority believes are inadequate (more below).
Motivation varies somewhat by age—64 percent of those over age 50 say they teach primarily because they enjoy it, while 49 percent of those under 50 give the same answer. Most part-time/adjunct faculty members are not newcomers to their positions—more than 40 percent have been on their campuses 11 years or more, 32 percent have been on the job six to 10 years, and only about one in four has been on the job five years or under. A majority say they expect to work in their current institutions for at least five more years.
■ Part-time/adjunct faculty members are about evenly split between two groups, those who prefer part-time teaching (50 percent) and those who would like to have full-time teaching jobs (47 percent). Among those under age 50, the percentage preferring full-time teaching work increased to 60 percent. About 46 percent of the respondents have previously sought full-time college teaching employment. Differences surface repeatedly in the survey between those who aspire to full-time teaching jobs and those who do not.
■ Job satisfaction among part-time/adjunct faculty is fairly high, but there are distinct variations. Sixty-two percent of those surveyed say they are very or mainly satisfied with their jobs. Satisfaction varies considerably between those seeking fulltime teaching employment (49 percent of whom are very or mainly satisfied) and those who prefer to work part time (75 percent very or mainly satisfied.) Satisfaction is lower among part-time/adjunct faculty members at four-year public universities. Part-time/adjunct faculty members teaching fewer courses per semester are generally more satisfied than those teaching more courses.
■ There is widespread concern among part-time/adjunct faculty about bread-and-butter conditions. About 57 percent of the survey respondents say their salaries are falling short. Just 28 percent indicate that they receive health insurance on the job. Only 39 percent say they have retirement benefits through their employment. Even among those who receive health or retirement benefits, however, there are significant gaps in coverage. Unionized part-time/adjunct faculty members earn significantly more than their nonunion counterparts and are more likely to have some health and pension coverage.
■ A significant percentage of part-time/adjunct faculty members are concerned about job security. About 41 percent of those surveyed say that their job security is falling short of expectations. There was greater dissatisfaction among faculty working at public four-year institutions. Faculty teaching humanities and social science courses were about evenly split on job security, with 47 percent saying it was falling short, while only 38 percent of part-time/adjunct faculty members from other concentrations say that job security falls short.
■ Part-time/faculty members are concerned about the availability of full-time teaching employment. Fully 62 percent believe full-time opportunities are falling short of expectations, a number that rises to 74 percent among those who have sought full-time employment. About 44 percent of all those surveyed believe they are not given a fair opportunity to obtain a full-time position, rising to 55 percent among those who have pursued a full-time position. Along the same lines, two-thirds of part-time/adjunct faculty members recognize the need to rebuild the ranks of fulltime college faculty in the United States.
The survey, then, makes it clear that part-time/adjunct faculty members are committed to their teaching and eager to serve. The survey also demonstrates that the working conditions and job security of America’s part-time/adjunct faculty leave a great deal to be desired. The American Federation of Teachers is conducting an extensive national campaign to bring equitable salary and working conditions to contingent faculty and also to build a stronger corps of full-time tenured faculty in higher education. For more information about the Faculty and College Excellence Campaign (FACE), go to the campaign Web site, http://www.aftface.org/
See the full survey at: http://www.aftface.org/storage/face/documents/aa_parttime_survey.pdf
Part Time Faculty Group joins AFT 1493
by Erin L. Scholnick, CSM, Political Science
Before I leave the College of San Mateo in December, I want you all to know that I am proud and honored to be considered a colleague of yours. This is especially true after these past few months when a dedicated group of Part Time Faculty members has met at least once a month to discuss how we can improve our lives as adjuncts, and how we help the full time faculty understand our precarious existence. We solidified our commitment to education and together we know we can enhance the learning and life experiences of our students.
I am also happy to announce at this time that the Part Time Faculty Group voted at our last meeting on November 6, and we are now officially the “Part Time Faculty Committee” of the AFT. We did not make this decision lightly. We discussed this opportunity many times during the past 4 or 5 months. Our first intentions as a group were to have a say during the current contract negotiations. But, as you all know, there are many other issues that are facing us these days which also need our point of view. And after attending AFT meetings and familiarizing ourselves with our representatives and the officers of the Union, we feel this is the best decision for all us. Our members represent the faculty at all three schools in the district and we are very comfortable with one another, respectful and constructive when we meet.
We also have agreed to become the Northern California chapter of the nationally organized and recognized New Faculty Majority (NFM) group. You may have read about them in the Chronicle of Higher Education during the past year. But, if you are not familiar with them, please take a look at their website (newfacultymajority.info.) Their goals are very similar to ours and together we can benefit from the knowledge and voices of our membership.
Lastly, as many of you have noticed, we are taking action! The Candlelight Vigil on Monday November 23 was the first of many events planned to bring attention to the budget emergency that is eroding education in California. Other events include Speak-Out on Education opportunities on each campus. We also will take part in a statewide gathering of students and educators in Sacramento on March 4, 2010 and a statewide walkout across all levels of education planned for March 17, 2010.
If you wish to become more involved in the movement to save education, please consider joining our district-wide committee and get vocal! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not hesitate to write or call you state officials, they are your voice in Sacramento. And, please consider letter writing campaigns in your classrooms and homes. You can write our officials or newspapers, including the SF Chronicle, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, San Jose Mercury and others! Make this a student-centered exercise. Their futures and ours, are at stake!