March-April 2020 Advocate: District needs to agree to pay parity goals for part-timers


SMCCD stands alone in refusing to equitably compensate adjunct faculty members

By Timothy Rottenberg, Adjunct Instructor, Skyline College

Since the expiration of the most recent contract between AFT 1493 and SMCCD over one year ago, faculty members have had plenty of time to mull over the existing inequities in their expired contract. One of the most significant is the need to define and work towards part-time faculty pay parity. Although part-time adjuncts make up roughly 70% of the total number of faculty employed by SMCCD, and therefore provide the vast majority of instruction to SMCCD students, we are compensated with only a fraction of the resources of our full-time counterparts.

This unfortunate state of affairs does not need to be permanent. Inspired by recommendations from the California Education Code, as well as compliance efforts from each of our neighboring community college districts, AFT 1493 requests that the District meaningfully engage with our negotiators at the bargaining table to recognize and affirm the points in the following resolution:

Whereas, Part Time Faculty Pay Parity defines the specific policies and compensation needed to achieve pay equity between part-time and full-time faculty for similar work;
Whereas, SMCCD part-time instructors are paid significantly less in relation to full-time faculty than their Bay 10 counterparts, and current SMCCD parity (part-time vs. full-time pay) is on average ~60-70%;
We, the faculty members of SMCCD and AFT 1493 are hereby resolved that:
• We support our union, AFT 1493’s proposal to the District to define part-time pay parity in the new contract and to establish parity at 85%;
• We emphatically reject the District’s proposal to maintain the total compensation formula as is;
• We recognize the relevant California state mandates encouraging the District to define part-time parity and to increase the total funding for instructional faculty including:
• The 50% Law (Education Code Section 84362), which dictates that no less than 50% of the District’s general expenditures go towards classroom instruction, and that SMCCD has been in violation of for the last 5 years, and for 2018/2019 was only at 42.24%,
• In response to a 2000/2001 mandate, all California Community College districts were asked to determine through the collective bargaining process the definitions, policies and amounts needed to achieve parity for comparable pay between part-time and full-time faculty for similar work – and almost all districts state-wide, except SMCCD, have defined Parity,
• We recognize the success of each of our neighboring districts at establishing part-time faculty pay parity goals, including;
Peralta Community College District – 75%
San Francisco City College – 100%
De Anza Foothill Comm. College District – 83.5%
College of Marin – 95%
West Valley Mission – 88%
Cabrillo Community College District – 100%
• We affirm that as part-time faculty compose ~70% of the instructional faculty within the SMCCD, part-time faculty are an essential part of the SMCCD’s mission and vision, whose well-being is essential to the success of the District as a whole.

By refusing to define part-time faculty pay parity and set a goal for the equitable compensation of all instructional faculty, SMCCD is setting the precedent that part-time adjuncts are quite literally worth less than other faculty members. If the District wants to live up to its mission statement and “provide the occasions and settings which enable students to develop their minds and their skills,” then it is time to give adjunct faculty members equal pay for equal work so they can most effectively support their students. If the District truly wants to “actively participate in the continuing development of the California Community Colleges,” then it is time to join the majority of community colleges across the state and define part time faculty pay parity.
One aspect of adjunct working conditions was noted by the Skyline View student newspaper’s editorial board, “A more favorable state of affairs would be one in which our passionate part-time instructors are treated with more respect by being allowed to have the time, space, and resources they need to grade papers — thereby not leaving them in a situation in which they’re forced to complete too much work outside of the classroom. This would make it easier for instructors to be invested in teaching and in their classrooms.”
Students, faculty, and community colleges across the state agree: part-time faculty pay parity is a necessary step towards a fair and equitable contract. SMCCD, when will you step up and agree to treat part-time faculty fairly?