Sept. 2022 Advocate: Comparing SMCCCD instructional adjunct pay to neighboring districts

District salary comparisons

How does SMCCCD instructional adjunct pay compare to neighboring districts?

[Jump directly to Comparison Table]

Despite significant increases in pay rates for SMCCCD instructional adjunct faculty over the last three-year contract, the actual pay-per-class compensation still lags significantly behind the Marin and Mission/West Valley districts and is also behind the San Jose/Evergreen district when comparing all but the highest steps.  SMCCCD part-time instructional faculty, therefore, continue to be the lowest paid of those in the four Bay Area Basic Aid”/”Community-supported community college districts.  Our district is also the only one of the six districts between San Jose and Marin that still continues to pay part-time instructors on an hourly rather than on a unit-load based rate. All of the other districts pay instructional adjunct faculty a set percentage of full-time instructional faculty (often referred to as a “parity’ percentage)—from 95% at Marin to 73% at San Jose/Evergreen—and adjunct instructional faculty in all of those other districts are paid on a “mirrored schedule” which has the same columns (reflecting educational levels) as full-time faculty. (For example, click here to view the Mission/West Valley district’s instructional adjunct faculty salary schedule.)

Adjunct faculty in our district are not paid at a set percentage of full-time faculty; the parity percentage depends on which step on the salary schedule and what educational level is compared. For example, an adjunct instructor at Step 1 with an MA makes 71% of a full-time instructor with the same experience and educational level, while a part-timer at Step 10 and has an MA plus 30 additional units makes 77.5% of a full-time instructor with the same experience and educational level. Paying by load rather than by hour provides a clear and equitable way to set adjunct instructional faculty pay rates at a uniform parity percentage of full-time faculty. In the last round of contract negotiations AFT and the District agreed to form a group to study the logistics of moving to load-based pay for adjunct instructors in the next contract.

The San Mateo District has agreed to an ongoing commitment that, until SMCCCD achieves the parity goal of 85% for instructional adjuncts, the District will commit funds to closing the parity gap over and above the money it makes available for compensation and benefits improvements for all faculty. (Because the parity percentages of adjunct non-instructional faculty pay rates are currently significantly higher than those of instructional faculty, those rates will not reflect increases made specifically for instructional faculty; adjunct non-instructional faculty will continue to receive the same percentage pay increases as negotiated for all faculty.)

Comparison of 2022-23 Adjunct Instructional Faculty Compensation
for SMCCCD and Neighboring Districts
Based on teaching one 3-unit class

Marin * (BA)
Mission/WV * (BA)
SJ/Evergreen * (BA)
CCSF * Foothill *
% of FT
Not set 95% 78-79% 73%  86% 83.5%
Step 1
w/ MA

(71% of FT)

7270.90 6520.2 6148.00 5667.40 6007.98
Step 5


(73.6% of FT)
8100.84 7763.20 7330.00 6815.50 7229.00
Step 10


(77.5% of FT)
9361.87 9565.60 8574.00 8193.22 8144.77
Step w/


(75.4% of FT)
(Doc. Step 14)
10013.28 11307.00 9545.60 10030.18 9060.54

Click on the linked name of each district in the chart above to view the salary schedules for that district.
SMCCCD: Calculation to translate hourly rate to 3-unit load: Hourly Rate x Hours/Week (3) x Weeks/Semester (17.5) + Office Hour Rate x Weeks/Semester (17.5)
* 2022-23 rates (Marin, Mission/WV, SJ/Evergreen, Foothill); * 2021-22 rates (SMCCCD, CCSF);
BABasic Aid”/”Community-supported districts

New “Mirrored Schedule” begins in Fall 2022

One of the final items the District agreed to in the last round of contract negotiations was to give adjunct instructors all 25 experience-based salary steps currently available to full-timers, rather than the 11 that adjuncts had previously. Beginning in the Fall ’22 semester, instructional adjuncts now have a full “mirrored schedule” with all the steps (to recognize experience) and columns (to recognize education) that full-timers have. The new schedule was created by making Steps 1-11 on the 2021-2022 adjunct instructional schedule Steps 1-11 of the Master’s column on the new schedule, then building out the other columns and steps using the percentage differences between columns and steps on the full-time salary schedule. The following special conditions will apply:

  • Adjunct instructors with a Master’s, MA+45 units, MA+60 units, or PhD/EdD/JD will be placed into the column corresponding to that degree.
  • Adjunct instructors who do not have a Master’s, and who are on a 2021-2022 SMCCCD seniority list, will be placed into the Master’s column.
  • Adjunct instructors who have been at Step 11 for at least three years will be placed at Step 14. All other adjunct instructors will be placed one step above their 2021-2022 step.

With the establishment of the new mirrored schedule, all adjunct instructional faculty members received some pay increases, but those with higher levels of education have received greater pay bumps.


[Note: This article is an update of the instructional adjunct salary comparison article in the May 2022 Advocate. It reflects SMCCCD’s new 2022-23 mirrored instructional adjunct salary schedule as well as recent increases in neighboring districts’ salary schedules.]