March 2021 Advocate: Faculty letters support part-time parity

Campaign for Part-Time Parity

Selected letters to the Board of Trustees supporting parity for part-time faculty

The following are a small sample of the 180 letters sent by district faculty members to the SMCCD Board of Trustees and Chancellor in just four days, between February 26th and March 1st, with the basic message:  SMCCD needs to establish Part Time Parity NOW!
Read a description of the letter-writing campaign here

 

My name is Christina Shih. I was an adjunct for over 10 years and I was recently hired at Skyline College as a full-time instructor.

I’m writing because I want to share my part-time teaching experience as a single mother living in the Bay Area. Although I am full-time right now, I remember living in the fear of not knowing whether I will make enough money to pay for my living expenses 6 month from now.

I remember getting my class cancelled last minute and I had to deal with my ex’s anger for not getting a “real job” to support the children. I don’t know how, but I stuck around for over 10 years living in fear and managed to get a full-time position which is so rare to come by in the Bay Area.

I understand job instability is the part of the deal when I pursued this line of work because of my passion. It makes the pay so much more important for a part-time faculty — when I did have a class it would be so nice to have enough savings to support my family on the semester(s) that I got my class cancelled.

As it is, SMCCD part-timers are severely underpaid compared to neighboring community college districts. To take a concrete example, for a single 3-unit class, an SMCCD part-timer with an MA at Step 1 makes $567 less than they would at San Jose-Evergreen, $1213 less than they would at West Valley-Mission, and $1,888 less than they would at Marin. (The differential is significantly larger for part-timers with more education and experience.) The pay discrepancy between SMCCD and other districts means that many part-timers are actively looking for work elsewhere. SMCCD students are losing some of their most qualified, most engaged, most experienced part-time instructors because the District is not keeping up with neighboring districts in part-time pay, which negatively impacts student learning and success.

Paying part-timers fairly will provide a better learning environment for SMCCD students and bring SMCCD closer to complying with the 50% Law. And while these facts alone should be reason enough to move towards part-time parity, it is also true that doing so would help the Board fulfill its commitment to equity, sustainability, and social justice.

As a faculty member, I am very grateful to the Board for agreeing to set a parity goal of 85%. Now I am asking you to take the next important step and support AFT’s proposals for a mirrored schedule (which compensates part-timers for their education and offers more steps to recognize their experience) and a four-year path to parity.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 


 

Dear Esteemed SMCCCD Board Members,

As a full-time faculty member in our district, I am in FULL support of part-time parity for our part-time colleagues as well as a mirrored schedule that compensates them for their experience and earned educational expertise. Having been an adjunct at another college for many years, I understand the hard work, dedication and commitment that adjuncts bring to their roles. Our part-time colleagues care deeply about our students and bring the best of themselves to their work. Their hard work, dedication, and commitment to SMCCCD, when they could teach many other places, should be honored. Our part-time colleagues need your FULL support. FULL support is making the part-time parity goal and mirrored schedule a REALITY. It􏰎s time to show our part-time colleagues how much we appreciate and honor their contributions and commitment to the SMCCCD Community.

We are counting on you to be courageous leaders.

Respectfully,

Dr. Bianca Rowden-Quince

Skyline College Faculty rowdenquinceb@smccd.edu

 


 

My name is Chris Smith (BIOL) and I have taught at the College of San Mateo for 5 years as an adjunct and now 11 years full time.

I’m writing because everyone, but specifically part-timers in our district need to be paid fairly. As it is, SMCCD part-timers are severely underpaid compared to neighboring community college districts. To take a concrete example, for a single 3-unit class, an SMCCD part-timer with an MA at Step 1 makes $567 less than they would at San Jose-Evergreen, $1213 less than they would at West Valley-Mission, and $1,888 less than they would at Marin. (The differential is significantly larger for part-timers with more education and experience.) The pay discrepancy between SMCCD and other districts means that many part-timers are actively looking for work elsewhere. SMCCD students are losing some qualified, engaged, most experienced part-time instructors because the District is not keeping up with neighboring districts in part-time pay, which negatively impacts student learning and success.

I am particularly disturbed by the District’s lack of contract negotiations engagement for the past 2 years. It is obvious the District has no respect for any of the faculty. I guess the District just figures we will have to live with what you offer- which has been your unethical stalling and lack of engagement negotiation tactics.

You should be ashamed of yourselves. I am ashamed to work for you and at this District. It is hard to instill any sense of integrity, responsibility, fairness and equity in my students with the overwhelming unethical and bullying culture of this district’s administration.

I am asking you to take the important step and support AFT’s proposals for a mirrored schedule (which compensates part-timers for their education and offers more steps to recognize their experience) and a four-year path to parity.

I am also asking you to start at the top, as elected officials, and begin to instill a culture of integrity and ethical behavior by example.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 


 

Dear Board members:

My name is Rosemary Bell and I’ve been teaching at Skyline College for 30 years, ten of those years was as a part-time faculty member. ALL faculty, whether they are full-time or part-time deserve respect and fair compensation. We have been working without a fair contract for almost two years. Last March, March 11th to be exact, the Bay Area went into shelter-in-place. It was a Wednesday, and we were told by administration that we had Thursday, Friday, and Monday to convert our F2F classes to online. Three days! We worked 14 hr. days to learn Zoom, Canvas, and a myriad of other applications to be ready so our students would be able to be continue and finish their semester. We didn’t do it for administration or the Board members, we did it for the students.  Without faculty we wouldn’t need administration or a Board, and yest I fell we have had to BEG to fill our cup half-full.

The District’s reputation is in tatters, and I do not expect it to get any better once the San Mateo District Attorney presents his findings about the Ron Galatolo fiasco; not to mention the Eugene Whitlock $2.2 million payoff for reasons that only he and the Board knows. Our lack of transparency is nil.

I was thrilled when I saw that the District had agreed to AFT’s proposal to set the parity goal at 85%. But, when I saw the District’s proposal that it would still take nine (9) years to bring part-timers to parity, I thought they’re kidding right? Sounds like our Congress that has not raised the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 since 2009, and many members are still refusing to raise the minimum wage to $15 as we speak. Try living on a part-timer salary anywhere in the Bay Area. Compromise, in good faith with the AFT on the proposal of a four-year path to parity. If this is the only issue holding up a new contract then please grasp the opportunity, show us that we􏰎re appreciated, and do the right thing.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 


 

I support the AFT proposal for a 4-year path to adjunct parity (85% pro rata) and a mirrored salary schedule for adjunct faculty.

In my ten years as an adjunct faculty member at SMCCD (I have two Masters Degrees, and a PhD), I have been stuck at the end of salary scale and struggle financially.

The San Mateo Community College District is committed to equity and social justice. This mission statement should apply not only to students, but to all employees of the San Mateo District Community, including adjunct faculty. I propose that a fair and just model be followed, rather than an efficiency model in compensation for adjunct faculty.

Thank you!
Anonymous

 


 

I know you’ve heard many details about this issue so I’m going to approach it from my experience serving on our district budget committee (DCBF).

Over the last 10 years we have seen our revenues rise significantly. We have seen year over year surpluses rise significantly. We have fallen below the 50% law by $12M per year (the $700k gesture is something but it is not a significant step to closing the gap).

At the same time the district has:

-allocated $0 towards addressing part time parity.

-allocated over $100M from fund 1 to other areas, including capital costs (even though we’ve rec’d hundreds of millions in bonds for capital projects) Much of this money “earmarked” for faculty salary that ends up coming in underbudget.

-altered the compensation funding model to allocate less money per year to faculty COLA, squeezing faculty compensation and benefits at a time we clearly did not need to. (to be clear I’m not anti-total compensation but the pool of money needs to be big enough to not make us worse off)

So we are left to question, what are the district priorities? How is it that we have not found any room in that sizeable budget to fit in some money to address this issue? On top of that been told that we should actually accept less COLA than we were before. We see districts all over the bay with less room in their budget being leaders on part-time parity, why aren’t we? What is it exactly that we’re hanging our hat on with all that money? I would honestly love to know your list of budget priorities and why we haven’t fit in. Unfortunately the first thing that comes to my mind is fancy buildings that we intend to rent out for corporate events…

I have no doubt that you value faculty, but unfortunately at this point your actions (and budget allocation) say otherwise. Let’s start being leaders where it counts.

I appreciate you taking the time and hope that you will give some thought to all of our messages. If you would ever like to talk budget from our perspective I’d be more than happy to have that conversation.

Be well,
Steve Lehigh
Professor of Economics College of San Mateo

 


My name is Jessica Boyle and I have been working for this district for over 10 years as in different roles. I have been an adjunct counselor and I instructor for the past 2 years.

I’m writing because part-timers in our district need to be paid fairly. I live in Contra Costa County and I am also an adjunct at Contra Costa Community College. It saddens me to see how our faculty in the SMCCD district with more financial stability than our neighboring districts is not paid fairly. When we work in person, I commute 1.5 hours to work to serve our students (EOPS and Promise). I cannot afford to live in San Mateo County but it is my home and where I grew up. I myself am a product of the SMCCD district. I have great appreciation for all of our faculty, staff and students.

As a faculty member, I am very grateful to the Board for agreeing to set a parity goal of 85%. Now I am asking you to take the next important step and support AFT’s proposals for a mirrored schedule (which compensates part-timers for their education and offers more steps to recognize their experience) and a four-year path to parity.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 


 

I am an adjunct faculty at Skyline College since 2014, and I am one of the rare ones who do not have another full-time job to cover other benefits. Yet, you might wonder why I am teaching at Skyline ( SMCCD District), where part-time parity is absent. It’s because I love our college community and the students. The love and passion that my part-time colleagues and I showcase in our work with our students have been taken for granted by the district. And this is an antithesis to the ‘Equity, Social Justice’ that the district claims to stand for.

As an Adjunct faculty member, I appreciate that the Board finally decided to meet the 85% goal. Yet, it is not enough. We are asking for the Board to support AFT’s proposal to meet the AFT’s proposals for a mirrored schedule and a four-year path to reaching 85% parity.

Please walk the talk!! With respect to Equity and Social Justice.

With Much Appreciation for all you do for our SMCCD Community

Suji Venkataraman

 


 

My name is Mandy and I have been a counselor at Skyline College for 2 years as a full-time faculty. I experienced a few years as a part-timer at multiple colleges and found it often difficult to make ends meet on a part-time salary. Furthermore, I felt an overwhelming detriment to my overall mental health having to worry about whether I would have an assignment each semester or whether I’d have enough hours to pay my rent. This took an overwhelming toll on me after only a few years, that I can only imagine the type of experiences many of my colleagues have experienced (many for 5-10 years as a part-time faculty). To care about our faculty’s humanity and overall wellbeing is important for the educational community at large, especially our students!

I’m writing because part-timers in our district need to be paid fairly. As it is, SMCCD part-timers are severely underpaid compared to neighboring community college districts. To take a concrete example, for a single 3-unit class, an SMCCD part-timer with an MA at Step 1 makes $567 less than they would at San Jose-Evergreen, $1213 less than they would at West Valley- Mission, and $1,888 less than they would at Marin. (The differential is significantly larger for part-timers with more education and experience.) The pay discrepancy between SMCCD and other districts means that many part-timers are actively looking for work elsewhere. SMCCD students are losing some of their most qualified, most engaged, most experienced part-time instructors because the District is not keeping up with neighboring districts in part-time pay, which negatively impacts student learning and success.

Paying part-timers fairly will provide a better learning environment for SMCCD students and bring SMCCD closer to complying with the 50% Law. And while these facts alone should be reason enough to move towards part-time parity, it is also true that doing so would help the Board fulfill its commitment to equity, sustainability, and social justice.

As a faculty member, I am very grateful to the Board for agreeing to set a parity goal of 85%. Now I am asking you to take the next important step and support AFT’s proposals for a mirrored schedule (which compensates part-timers for their education and offers more steps to recognize their experience) and a four-year path to parity.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best, Mandy

 


 

This is Monica Malamud, Spanish Professor at Cañada and current AFT 1493 President.

Our faculty union had been trying to get our district to agree to a parity goal since before I got involved with the union (this is my fourth non-consecutive term as president, and I also served as secretary and campus chair). I was extremely happy when the District finally agreed to set a parity goal of 85%. This is an excellent step, and I personally thank you for taking it.

However, a goal for parity without a plan to achieve it has limited value, and it has no tangible value for our part-time instructional faculty. Considering that it took almost two decades for the district to agree on a parity goal, I don’t even want to imagine that it will take another two decades to actually reach that goal!

As a community-supported district, SMCCCD enjoys an enviable revenue stream and financial stability. There is absolutely no doubt that SMCCCD has the money to pay our part-time instructional faculty equitable salaries. Other districts in the area are able to do this, and there is no economic reason our district cannot afford to do so as well. Neighboring districts pay their part-time instructors better, and our part-timers will leave SMCCCD if the current situation is not addressed.

Does SMCCCD really have the money? Consider the following:

  1. District revenues are well in excess of what they would be if we were funded via state apportionment.
  2. In FY 2019-2020 our District overestimated expenses and underestimated revenues by over $36Mill; we heard before that the District cannot rely on one-time moneys for increases in salary schedules, but overestimating expenses and underestimating revenues happens year after year. It is not a one-time fluke; by now, we believe that it is a trick that the district uses to say that there is no money.
  3. SMCCCD has the money to pay administrators the highest salaries in the entire California Community College system. In my opinion, it is questionable, to put it mildly, that the district has such a high regard for its administrators, but does not treat instructional faculty equally well in terms of pay, when the core mission of an educational institution is precisely education.
  4. SMCCCD should be spending more money on instruction – BY LAW, specifically, the 50% law. SMCCCD is the only district in the entire state that is out of compliance with this law. This is embarrassing and unacceptable – unless you believe it’s ok to break the law. To close the gap and comply with the 50% law, SMCCCD needs to spend an additional $12Million in instructional salaries. Achieving parity for instructional part-timers would cost about $6Million – this will bring our district half-way towards compliance with the 50% law.

In its Affirmation of Commitment to Social Justice, “The District, through its recently adopted Strategic Plan, outlined several unwavering educational values that embrace the fundamental notion of equity and social justice for our students.” I would request that the notion of equity and social justice be applied to employees as well, and, in particular, to our part-time instructors.

In the same Affirmation, “the San Mateo County Community College District commits to a fundamental duty to create a socially just environment with the following core values and principles:

Dignity and Respect. The Board has an unwavering belief that universally all humans have inherent value and every person should be treated with dignity and respect.”

I would request you do not let your unwavering belief waver, and that our part-time instructors be treated with dignity and respect.

In closing, paying part-timers fairly and equitably will show our hard-working faculty the respect they deserve, it will avoid losing these faculty to other districts, it will benefit our students, who will be able to maintain relationships with instructors who remain with the district over time, it will bring the district closer to complying with the 50% law, it will let our community know that our district values educators, and it will be an example of our district’s commitment to equity and social justice. To this end, I ask that you support the AFT’s proposal to achieve the 85% parity goal for our part-time instructors, by moving to a pay-schedule that recognizes their education and experience, within four years.

Sincerely,

Monica Malamud

 


 

My name is Gregg Grist and I have been teaching Physics and Astronomy at Skyline College for more than 15 years as an adjunct.

In a time that we are asked to model Equity and Fairness for our students, we are living examples of the lack of this in our careers as educators. How can we – all of us as an educational community – look our students in the eye with a straight face and tell them we represent the future where people are valued for their contributions in a just environment, when most of us are relegated to the lower caste of a class-based system.

I started as a community college student, and through hard work and determination went on to earn 5 degrees and a place in a Stanford PhD. program. I worked for many years in industry where my work was not only respected, but so was I, and that respect was demonstrated through my compensation. I left industry almost 2 decades ago to become a professor and give back to society, and the California Community College system from which I gained my start. I think that I and my Part-Time colleagues deserve the same respect and remuneration as our Full-Time counterparts. Until we have parity, all the Equity conferences and platitudes are just empty posturing.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 


 

My name is Rebecca Alex and I have been teaching Studio Art at CSM for 27 years. 18 of those were as an adjunct and the past 9 have been as a full-timer.

I am the only full-timer in my program, with four adjuncts on board. These adjuncts help me write curriculum, attend flex activities and maintain our studios and equipment. More importantly, they are all excellent instructors who we are lucky to have. We would not have a successful program without them. Recently, like all the rest of us, they have worked many more hours than conceived of in order to teach online. They definitely do 85% of the workload that I do.

It’s very discouraging to work without a contract for so long and to have such a disparity in income/contribution between the full-timers and part-timers. I urge you to reconcile this issue as soon as possible for the health and equity of our district.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 


 

Greetings dear colleagues,

David Laderman here, going on 30 years as Professor of Film at CSM; also, Honors Project Coordinator, and past Academic Senate President.

Cutting right to it: we􏰎􏰒e been out of contract for two years. It’s a shame, and a stain. We􏰎re all quite tired of feeling nickel-and-dimed by our district, while it touts public pronouncements around 􏰓student success􏰔 and 􏰓social justice􏰔 with robust financial coffers.

We deserve better.

Faculty perceive the delays, flaccid excuses and often mocking counter-proposals, as an insult. For example, the district proposal that we achieve adjunct parity, by taking the necessary funds from faculty compensation? And that it takes close to 10 years? Please. Pitting us against each other? Rubbing salt in the wound? I can’t believe our district would take such a position.

The district of course should furnish these compensation funds, as they always do–with parity achieved in a few years.

Part-timers must be paid fairly–especially because they provide a majority of the instruction in our district, and contribute so much of the heart and soul that makes our district truly shine as an institution of higher education. Paying adjuncts fairly will provide a better learning environment for SMCCD students and bring SMCCD closer to complying with the 50% Law. Last but not least, it also would help the Board fulfill its commitment to equity, sustainability, and social justice.

As a faculty member, I am very grateful to the Board for agreeing to set a parity goal of 85%. Now I am asking you to take the next important step and support AFT’s proposals for a mirrored schedule (which compensates part-timers for their education and offers more steps to recognize their experience) and a four-year path to parity.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 


 

To Whom It May Concern:

I am Michael Phipps, and I have been an adjunct teaching History at Skyline for 12 years this June, 2021. Before that I taught for 27 years as a high school teacher and AP tutor in various public and private schools/institutions. I am also a Director of the Cable Car Museum in San Francisco (pro bono) for the last 17 years, being involved with public lectures, historical exhibits at the museum, and other public venues in the Bay Area. As a director, I have written one book and several historical journal articles. I attended UC Berkeley and Stanford, earning advanced degrees in History. I also worked for a term at Stanford assisting History Professor James Sheehan construct a freshman seminar on World War I (a new class designed to introduce freshmen to Professors early in their academic career). Therefore, I feel I am qualified to speak as someone who has had good preparation for teaching at the college level, at least as much as anyone else.

I am writing to support my colleagues in the SMCCD district on the issue of competitive pay rate for adjunct/PT faculty. I have observed some of our younger adjuncts leaving the district, almost entirely due to financial concerns. I feel this is a great loss for our district as I have found my PT colleagues at Skyline to be some of the best and most qualified people, I have worked with in all my years of teaching. As a native San Franciscan and life-long resident of the Bay Area, I know well that it is difficult enough to remain here given housing prices and cost of living. If adjuncts cannot make an adequate salary, they often have no choice but to leave. Most I have known did not want to d􏰍 􏰃􏰍􏰕 􏰉e a􏰅e 􏰂he 􏰉􏰍􏰅􏰃e 􏰍ff f􏰍􏰅 􏰂hei􏰅 􏰄􏰍􏰃􏰃􏰊 as are our students.

A former student of mine, Alex Roa, wrote an excellent article for Skyline on the many reasons why students in today􏰎s world should consider attending a community college before going on to University. I attach it here; but in brief, one of the points he made in this essay was that he received an education in classes taught by instructors who were every bit as qualified as those in university, and who had, in fact, been educated at top universities themselves.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dear-california-high-school-student-go-community-college- alec-roa

The point I want to make here is that our adjuncts as well as our excellent fulltime staff, are leaders in their disciplines. The fact that we work less than fulltime (which is usually not reflective of a desire to only work limited hours), really makes no difference in the quality of our training, experience and service to our students. I for one have had the opportunity to work in school districts as far away as Los Rios in Sacramento, have chosen to remain at Skyline because I appreciate the faculty, students, and educational atmosphere of the San Mateo CC district. However, I will offer my opinion that adjuncts are, de facto, penalized for being loyal to this district. I am older at this point, and likely to make any further changes in career. However, I see brilliant young instructors at Skyline and despair that many are having to leave and seek employment elsewhere in the state. As with much in our region, financial concerns are at the heart of most of these decisions.

Although as an adjunct, I am not particularly mandated to participate in activities FT faculty do, I have often been invited to join them and have done so regularly. This is particularly true of departmental and division meetings, where decisions were made on instituting/dropping course offerings, composing or reworking course descriptions, and particularly engaging in projects required for our cycle of WASC accreditation. I have participated, as have most of my PT colleagues, in Division meetings addressing school and district wide concerns, and in workshops and programs offered at regularly scheduled 􏰓flex􏰔 days.

Perhaps most importantly for our students, I and other PT adjuncts spend numerous hours working with our students outside of class. Personally, I log in countless hours, especially as we approach finals, tutoring my students and in particular helping them draft, refine, research and write their final thesis for my courses. These are slightly shorter versions of the type required at universities, and I hold students to that standard. However, I also work with them to achieve this and it is no exaggeration to state that I spend anywhere from 2-4 hours minimum per day in my office or the library helping them write these theses􏰖an important facet in whatever career they will choose to pursue beyond the walls of academia. Alex Roa refers to this in his article (above), but students have also expressed their thanks on websites and in person to me over the years. I mention this because it hones and develops important critical thinking and communication skills. I feel this is an important part of my job as an instructor, to help my students succeed; I also note I am not paid for these extra hours and am not asking to be compensated. It is my choice; but I believe a salary rate commensurate with my colleagues would only be fair. It would be an indication that I am valued for my work.

I would like to note here that, though I am a PT instructor, my FT colleagues have always treated me as a peer and equally important to the History department as themselves. There is a camaraderie and mutual respect here that I think is important. As it applies to pay, I think it is another argument in favor of instituting some kind of fair doctrine for PT adjuncts in our district.

As another example of the relationship between myself and my FT peers, I have been called upon by them as well as my Deans over the years, to step in and teach classes for my FT friends, in cases of illness, leaves, or other unforeseen (and even planned) absences. There was no drop in the quality of these classes or the level of instruction during these transitions. I think that argues again for the lack of demarcation in our district between the abilities of FT and PT faculty.

I want to thank you for your time and consideration in this matter. I know there are often facets of decisions like this that may escape some of us not directly involved in the process on implementing changes. However, it works both ways, and that is why I feel it is important that you hear about this matter from the perspective of someone 􏰓in the trenches􏰈􏰔 as it were. I hope that my comments are useful in sorting this out, and I am more than willing to give

further information about my opinions, if required. Again, thanks for reading this.

I remain, sincerely,

Michael F Phipps
HISTORY Department, Skyline College

 


 

My name is Michael Vargas and I have been a Counselor at CSM since 2009. While currently tenured faculty, like many I started as an adjunct counselor.

I’m writing because adjunct faculty and counselors in our district need to be paid fairly. Two of the wealthiest cities in the country in our District (Atherton and Hillsborough). With property values higher than many other Bay Area counties, I am unable to comprehend why financial issues are part of a two-year delay in securing a contract between the SMCCD and the AFT.

As it is, SMCCD part-timers are severely underpaid compared to neighboring community college districts. To take a concrete example, for a single 3-unit class, an SMCCD part-timer with an MA at Step 1 makes $567 less than they would at San Jose-Evergreen, $1213 less than they would at West Valley-Mission, and $1,888 less than they would at Marin. (The differential is significantly larger for part-timers with more education and experience.) The pay discrepancy between SMCCD and other districts means that many part-timers are actively looking for work elsewhere. SMCCD students are losing some of their most qualified, most engaged, most experienced part-time instructors because the District is not keeping up with neighboring districts in part-time pay, which negatively impacts student learning and success.

Paying part-timers fairly will provide a better learning environment for SMCCD students and bring SMCCD closer to complying with the 50% Law. And while these facts alone should be reason enough to move towards part-time parity, it is also true that doing so would help the Board fulfill its commitment to equity, sustainability, and social justice.

As a faculty member, I am very grateful to the Board for agreeing to set a parity goal of 85%. Now I am asking you to take the next important step and support AFT’s proposals for a mirrored schedule (which compensates part-timers for their education and offers more steps to recognize their experience) and a four-year path to parity.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Michael Vargas, MSW

 


 

My name is Elizabeth Ingber and I have been teaching music at Skyline College for 14 years as an adjunct.

I’m writing because part-timers in our district deserve to be paid fairly. For 14 years I have been dedicated to creating classroom experiences that provide my students with the best education possible. I value the ability to connect with every student and see them progress throughout the semester. Often I am teaching classes that are divided into multiple levels being taught during the same session, requiring a balancing act of planning and preparation above and beyond a normal class. The fact that I am adjunct in no way makes my contribution in the classroom any less than a full-timer.

Our adjunct faculty, who make up around 70% of the total faculty in the district, are a vital and invaluable part of our community college system. Skyline College has benefited from many long-term, dedicated adjunct faculty over the years. In our music department we had two adjunct faculty retire in the last few years who had been part of the department for decades. Our newest adjunct faculty are just as dedicated and their individual areas of expertise are critical to creating a strong and well-rounded music department.

Without part-time pay parity we risk losing skilled and dedicated educators who can’t afford to live in the Bay Area. Even with income from the necessary additional jobs, adjuncts must take on, it is difficult to make a living, pay rent, afford health care, raise a family, etc.

Supporting part-time pay parity tells faculty that you value their work, and tells our students that you value their education.

Now I am asking you to take the next important step and support AFT’s proposals for a mirrored schedule (which compensates part-timers for their education and offers more steps to recognize their experience) and a four-year path to parity.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Elizabeth Ingber

 


 

My name is Vera Quijano and I have been teaching 1.0-Unit Yoga and Salsa Dancing **ACTIVITY COURSES** at Cañada College for 21 years as a Kinesiology, Athletics, and Dance (KAD) adjunct faculty member.

I’m writing because adjunct faculty in our district need to be paid fairly, especially, and more urgently, KAD adjuncts who are getting paid at the MUCH lower “coaching” rate (which is also VERY unfair) who were forced to convert their **ACTIVITY COURSES** to fully online in March 2020. We have been disproportionately affected by the COVID pandemic and URGENTLY REQUEST a􏰀 i􏰁􏰁edia􏰂e 􏰃a􏰄a􏰅􏰆 􏰃ched􏰇􏰄e adj􏰇􏰃􏰂􏰁e􏰀􏰂􏰈 􏰉i􏰂h 􏰊Ä􏰋COVID-EMERGENCY􏰊Ä􏰌 􏰅e􏰂􏰅􏰍-pay from mid-March 2020.

We KAD 1-Unit **ACTIVITY COURSES** instructors are held MUCH to the same standards as our FT counterparts, ESPECIALLY since we have only THREE KAD FT faculty, leaving adjuncts and coaches to make up for UNPAID, time-consuming committee participation, curricular updates, Division meeting participation, etc.

In addition, our classes our getting canceled at a disproportionate level due to COVID, leaving us under-employed for almost a year now! Nevertheless, we continue to thanklessly contribute HUNDREDS of unpaid hours for creating online video content, online video assessment, and answering EVERY student’s need and SPECIAL need, regardless of how much time it takes for us. We have continued to do this with our own new way of teaching with tripods, lighting kits, sound consideration, limited physical space, technology issues, etc., with no special support needs considered for KAD faculty by administration.

Furthermore, we have a new $120 million dollar building THEORETICALLY ready for KAD to move in, BUT because of lack of administration support for KAD adjuncts (who have recently been EXCLUDED from the KAD planning process), KAD academic programs, and KAD staffing needs, we risk being completely obsolete in the near future.

I am very grateful to the Board of Trustees for considering to set a parity goal of 85% for YOUR hard-working and dedicated adjunct faculty members.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Vera Quijano

Certified Yoga Instructor Certified Dance Instructor

B.S. Cell/Molecular Bio Master of Public Admin
M.S. Human Anatomy & Phys.

 


 

DoniellaMMy name is Doniella Maher and I have been teaching at Cañada since 2009.

I was a part time faculty member for 5 years, and I have been full time since 2014. While I was a part timer, I taught at three colleges concurrently (6 sections) to pay for my Bay Area rent. Every day I drove to at least two campuses, and occasionally I drove to three. It was unsustainable for anyone who had any family commitments and I was fortunate to get a full time job when I did.

I also had to make many difficult personal decisions during my year as a part timer that will impact my whole life. I wasn’t able to buy a house or start a family because it just wasn’t possible under those conditions. I think that there is a misconception that adjuncts aren’t the breadwinners, but I was (and still am).

Paying part-timers fairly will provide a better learning environment for SMCCD students and bring SMCCD closer to complying with the 50% Law. And while these facts alone should be reason enough to move towards part-time parity, it is also true that doing so would help the Board fulfill its commitment to equity, sustainability, and social justice.

As a faculty member, I am very grateful to the Board for agreeing to set a parity goal of 85%. Now I am asking you to take the next important step and support AFT’s proposals for a mirrored schedule (which compensates part-timers for their education and offers more steps to recognize their experience) and a four-year path to parity.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 


 

My name is Masao Suzuki and I have been teaching Economics at Skyline College for 20 years as a full time professor. I am glad that full timers are being more fairly compensated, although I am not happy to have been working for years without a contract or any cost-of-living increase.

While I have only taught as a part-timer while in graduate school, I am concerned that ALL of our faculty are fairly paid. There is no excuse for the low pay of our adjunct faculty given the solid financial position of the district.

I was angry to learn that the three fastest growing categories of SMCCD employees are administrators, managers, and supervisors, while still underpaying our part-time faculty.

SMCCD part-timers are severely underpaid compared to neighboring community college districts. To take a concrete example, for a single 3-unit class, an SMCCD part-timer with an MA at Step 1 makes $567 less than they would at San Jose-Evergreen, $1213 less than they would at West Valley-Mission, and $1,888 less than they would at Marin. (The differential is significantly larger for part-timers with more education and experience.) The pay discrepancy between SMCCD and other districts means that many part-timers are actively looking for work elsewhere. SMCCD students are losing some of their most qualified, most engaged, most experienced part-time instructors because the District is not keeping up with neighboring districts in part-time pay, which negatively impacts student learning and success.

Paying part-timers fairly will provide a better learning environment for SMCCD students and bring SMCCD closer to complying with the 50% Law. And while these facts alone should be reason enough to move towards part-time parity, it is also true that doing so would help the Board fulfill its commitment to equity, sustainability, and social justice.

As a faculty member, I am very grateful to the Board for agreeing to set a parity goal of 85%. Now I am asking you to take the next important step and support AFT’s proposals for a mirrored schedule (which compensates part-timers for their education and offers more steps to recognize their experience) and a four-year path to parity.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 


 

My name is Rika Yonemura-Fabian, and I have been teaching Sociology and Social Justice Studies at Skyline College for 4 years as a full-time instructor. Before then, I was teaching part- time for eight years at Canada College.

I’m writing because I want to urge the District to pay our part-timers at a competitive rate compared to other Districts. SMCCD students are losing some of their most qualified, most engaged, most experienced part-time instructors.

When I was teaching part-time at Canada, getting classes at SMCCD was my least priority. Whenever possible, I prioritized teaching at De Anza and West Valley because SMCCD paid at around 60% of what other two Districts paid me. Why would I teach in a District that pays at a sub-par rate, when I had a far better opportunity elsewhere? In addition, SMCCD does not value part-time instructors with a Ph.D due to the single-column schedule it currently has.

Since I am the only full-time faculty in my department of Sociology, the program relies on four excellent, highly qualified adjunct faculty. Our Sociology department is growing. We created the degree two years ago, and now we have 80 students majoring in Sociology degree! Without retaining these three highly reliable adjunct members, we cannot sustain this new, growing department. Please give them fair compensation, for our Sociology students.

I am asking you to take the next important step and support AFT’s proposals for a mirrored schedule (which compensates part-timers for their education and offers more steps to recognize their experience) and a four-year path to parity.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Rika Yonemura-Fabian, Ph.D.