Nov. 2014 Advocate – Adjunct’s views on applying for full-time positions

A response to District’s views on procedures for adjuncts applying for full-time positions

The following is a counter-response by a Skyline adjunct faculty member (who wishes to remain anonymous) to an article in the September Advocate by Barbara Christensen, SMCCCD Director of Community/Government Relations, which responded to an initial article in the May issue by the same adjunct instructor.  

I would like to address some arguments put forth by Barbara Christensen.
    First of all, Ms. Christensen seems to be under the impression that this is an isolated single person issue.  The truth of the matter is that the article was written by a single person speaking up on behalf of a large number of part-timers with the support of a large number of full-timers.  Indeed, giving priority consideration to in-house employees is a policy widely supported by the vast majority of part-timers and full-timers.  
    Secondly, although the hiring process for faculty is faculty driven, employers still have a duty under the Equal Opportunity Act to ensure that the workplace is free of discrimination and harassment.  The employer may be held vicariously liable for acts that are carried out by employees or persons acting under their supervision unless it can be demonstrated that all reasonable steps have and are being taken to prevent the prohibited conduct.
    Third, Section 53021 of Title 5 of the Education Code simply states that “in-house or promotional only” recruitment should not be used to fill any new opening for a faculty position.  Title 5 says nothing against giving preferential status to applicants already working at the college for a certain number of years.
    Fourth, the District’s track record in hiring adjuncts is not a reason to refuse to deal with problems when they do arise.  Barbara Christensen claims that, in 2013-14, 70% of faculty hires came from adjunct faculty within our District.  Well, that means 30% of hires came from outside the District and current District adjuncts were not hired for almost a third of our District’s openings.
    Fifth, why is the District fighting this very modest proposal of giving preferential status in the hiring process for those who have already been working there a certain number of years?  It would cost the District nothing.  The vast majority of faculty want it and certainly public sentiment would also be supportive.  So what is the District gaining by coming out against this proposal especially when other districts such as CCSF, Peralta, and College of Marin, have such proposals in their contracts?