Summer Reading for Working Conditions Advocates

While you’re chilling on the beach, or, more likely, trying to teach a class in the sweltering heat, or maybe on an “unpaid vacation,” check out these articles on working conditions in our field (and related struggles)…

Read the full text versions by following the above links or read on for tidbits:

Regarding the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act,

Andy Nash argues that “the idea that we must choose between quality and quantity of service because there is “no money” is self-defeating. For one thing, there is plenty of money, it’s just being kept out of the public sector to sustain a disgraceful (and growing) wealth disparity in this country. We need to start saying that there IS money and that we want it to serve public needs.”

A Canadian College Where Adjuncts Go to Prosper

What can we learn from a community college in Canada where part-time professors have job security at a level unheard of for non-tenure track professors? (Tenure? What’s that??)

“The work environment at Vancouver is the result of more than two decades of collective bargaining between administrators and the faculty union, which represents all faculty members. As a result of the union’s contract, the gap between full- and part-time faculty members is narrower than at most institutions, and is often held up as an example of how to treat adjuncts, who make up the fastest-growing slice of the American professoriate.”

Sound familiar?

Equal Pay for Equal Work

The trend towards companies using part-time work to avoid the cost of benefits is not just affecting ABE staff and our students- it exists in higher education as well. What arguments are part-time professors using to advocate for Equal Pay for Equal Work —that is, pay and benefits parity with full-timers? By arguing that it benefits students as well as adjuncts themselves:

“In these tough economic times, many colleges have increased tuition, without offering the students anything more for their money and without directing any of the revenues toward fairly compensating the part-timers. Spending more of the tuition dollars on the adjuncts would do the most good for students by giving them more access to faculty members who have time to spend with them.

Only when part-timers and full-timers are finally in the same salary boat can we begin to see all our boats rise together.”

What’s your take? Leave a comment below.

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