Thursday, June 19, 2014

Faculty Alert: Appeal to Help Homeless Adjunct Advocate June 2014

"Fellow Workers:  We are in here for you,

you are out there for us"

IWW


Mary Faith has been out there on the streets of New York fighting for us.  Can we be inside our homes and campuses fighting for her?...She has put a face to the plight of impoverished adjuncts throughout this country. Let's not treat Mary-Faith as though she were disposable."




Folks:

We now have two websites to collect funds for homeless adjunct Mary-Faith Cerasoli.  Both contain background on Mary-Faith and how she became homeless.

"NCC Adjuncts United" has already had over 240 unique visitors:  http://www.nccadjunctsunited.org/1.html

"Mary-Faith is Fighting for Adjunct Rights" has a wealth of information and a donation link too: http://www.gofundme.com/9g1bbc

You can even download prints by donating a small amount.

The Precarious Faculty Blog site also contains information about the Nassau Community College Adjunct Faculty Association (AFA), which has had a $400,000 fine imposed on it for a strike last September.  The leaders of this independent union are still facing the possibility of the loss of their jobs from a retaliatory President and Board of Trustees.  See http://www.precariousfacultyblog.com/2014/06/in-briefnassau-adjuncts-mary-faith.html

At great risk to her teaching career, Mary-Faith went to Albany, the New York state capital, to protest the treatment of adjuncts.  She demanded that the New York Secretary of Education meet with her.  He refused.

At great risk to her health, she began the age old progressive tactic of a hunger strike to call attention to our plights.  She demanded that the Governor or one of his aides meet with her.  While one of his aides did call her, he refused to meet with her.  Not wishing to endanger her health any further in a fruitless quest, she wisely called off her strike and saw a doctor to make sure she was well.

She wrote an op-ed for the Albany Times-Union daily newspaper, "All Faculty Deserve Fair Treatment" http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/All-faculty-deserve-fair-treatment-5416793.php

She has been profiled in the Chronicle of Higher Education:  https://chroniclevitae.com/news/226-how-i-get-by-mary-faith-cerasoli

The New York Times also did a story on her:  "Without Tenure or a Home" http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/30/nyregion/without-tenure-or-a-home.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Ar

Under the current system, adjunct faculty are disposable people.  When they don't get a class, when they have a class cancelled, when there are no more classes for them, no one worries about them, and no one takes responsibility.  It's just the way it is for those off the tenure track. 

If an adjunct should dare apply for unemployment, she will be hassled for sure, and most likely denied.  If she speaks up against this unjust two-track system, she will surely be hassled and she may never teach again.

We know all of this in the abstract.  Some of us know it from personal experience.  

But thanks to Mary Faith's courageous acts, the public now knows it in the concrete.  She has put a face to the plight of impoverished adjuncts throughout this country.

Let's not treat Mary-Faith as though she were disposable.

If 1,000 of us would contribute as little as $10, we could raise $10,000 to give her enough money for a stable living environment for a year.  She could then turn to devoting full-time to finding employment.

One of the most iconic cartoons in the history of the labor movement comes from the progressive union The Industrial Workers of the World, nicknamed the Wobblies (see bottom of this letter).  It has a picture of a man in jail behind bars, with the caption:

"Fellow Workers:  We are in here for you, you are out there for us"

Mary Faith has been out there on the streets of New York fighting for us.  Can we be inside our homes and campuses fighting for her?

I urge all of you to go to one of the two websites:  http://www.nccadjunctsunited.org/1.html or http://www.gofundme.com/9g1bbc and please make a donation of at least $10 (more if you can).

Please post this email appeal to lists, websites, groups, listservs, forums, personal web pages, blogs, and social media, including Facebook, Twitter and G+, unions or other organizations. 

Cordially,


Keith Hoeller
Editor, Equality for Contingent Faculty: Overcoming the Two-Tier System
Co-founder, Washington Part-Time Faculty Association

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Adjunct Faculty Desperately Seeking a Union at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA May 22, 2014

"Adjunct professors often work at more than one college. Kinder-Pyle, for example, teaches at Eastern Washington University as well as GU. His annual salary from the private college is about $11,000. EWU pays him about $22,000."

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2014/may/22/gu-adjuncts-plan-first-faculty-union/

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

HARLEY-RIDING FORMER TEACHER RAILS AGAINST COLLEGE SYSTEM May 05, 2014

HARLEY-RIDING FORMER TEACHER RAILS AGAINST COLLEGE SYSTEM

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/May/05/tp-harley-riding-former-teacher-rails-against/3/?#article-copy

"He has no affection for teachers’ unions. He believes in the time he was a member, they used adjunct teachers as bargaining chips in negotiations — i.e., they would threaten to get a better deal for adjuncts, and then trade that threat for increased benefits for tenured faculty.
 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Washington State HB 1348 Shafts Adjuncts without Increments February 28, 2014

Call to Action: ASAP for Friday Morning, February 28, 2014
Washington State HB 1348 Makes Increment Funding Automatic, but Shafts Adjuncts without Increments February 28, 2014.
Many of the community colleges have contracted with the unions and teacher associations so that many of the faculty classified/misclassified as adjunct or part time do not recieve any increments at all. Letters/Emails/Calls can help the senators realize the injustice of this discriminatory bill that rewards a limited amount of teachers, and leaves the rest in the cold.

Senator 
Holmquist Newbry, Janéa (R) Chair   janea.holmquistnewbry@leg.wa.gov    (360) 786-7624
Braun, John (R) Vice Chair    john.braun@leg.wa.gov  (360) 786-7638
Conway, Steve (D) *    steve.conway@leg.wa.gov    (360) 786-7656
Hasegawa, Bob (D)    bob.hasegawa@leg.wa.gov   (360) 786-7616
Hewitt, Mike (R)    mike.hewitt@leg.wa.gov  (360) 786-7630
King, Curtis (R)    curtis.king@leg.wa.gov   (360) 786-7626
Kohl-Welles, Jeanne (D)    jeanne.kohl-welles@leg.wa.gov  (360) 786-7670

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Salon.com Publishes Article by Dr. Keith Hoeller, via "Equality for Contingent Faculty"

"Equality for Contingent Faculty: Overcoming the Two-Tier System" is a book of articles edited by Dr. Keith Hoeller. On Sunday, February 16, 2014, Salon.com published a selection from one of the articles, this one written by Dr. Hoeller: "The Academic Labor System of Faculty Apartheid."

Salon.com Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 
"The Wal-Mart-ization of higher education: How young professors are getting screwed:
More and more faculty at America's colleges and university are underpaid and undervalued. Can that change?"

Washington State Legislature: Hearing on SB 5844 February 2014


From a Pacific North Westside faculty member classified/misclassified as adjunct/part-time:
"In case anyone is interested, I just watched the video of yesterday's hearing about Washington State Senate Bill 5844, taking these notes while doing so.
In summary, SB 5844 proposes a change to state law to allow adjuncts to form their own union and to bar membership with tenured faculty on the grounds that there is no community of interests--"

The text of the bill is at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=5844 and the video http://www.tvw.org/index.php?option=com_tvwplayer&eventID=2014020039 .  The video of the hearing about begins at about the 30:00 minute mark.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Washington State Senate Bill 5844 Hearing for Separate Union for Adjunct Faculty, on Friday, Feb. 7, from 8 to 10 am.

Call to Action : Create Separate Union for Washington State Adjunct Faculty.
Via the Washington State Part-Time Faculty Association:

This is an historic moment.  Our Senate Commerce and Labor Committee will be hearing Senator Timothy Sheldon's Senate Bill 5844 this Friday, Feb. 7, from 8-10 a.m.

We will need to muster all the support we can for this hearing, since the bill must also be voted out of committee by the end of the day Friday.

It would be great if you can make it to Olympia to testify.  You will need to sign in electronically at the kiosks on the main floor of the Cherberg Building.   Each person will probably have two or three minutes to testify.

Whether you testify or not, it would help to write emails to the Senators on the Commerce and Labor Committee (I will follow with their email addresses and a sample letter).  Senators gets hundreds of emails everyday.  So it is important to keep it short.  The thing most likely to be read is your subject line.  So you might write some variation of "Please Support SB 5844 (Separate Unions for Adjuncts)" or "Please Vote YES on SB 5844."

You will only need to write one letter if you write the Chair of the committee, and copy the other members.  But you may have more of an impact if you send separate letters to each member.

The legislature needs to hear why the bill is necessary.  Doug Collins once said that we are in an abusive marriage without the right to divorce.  We have no leverage.  This bill will give us the right all other workers have to choose their own unions.

Below you will find a summary of the bill by Jack Longmate, as well as a link to the entire bill.

Your letter will help at anytime between now and Friday.  But since legislators are often behind in reading their email, it will do the most good between now and the end of the day on Thursday.

It would help me to keep track of our support if you would send me a copy of your letter to the committee members.  You can blind copy me and/or forward the letter to me.

Please tell everyone, adjuncts, friends, relatives, to write to the committee members ASAP.

Cordially,

Keith Hoeller
Co-Founder, Washington Part-Time Faculty Association
Seattle, WA

Summary of SB 5844 by Jack Longmate

B 5844 doesn't mandate the formation of unions for NTT faculty; that is, it doesn't obligate the formation of unions for adjuncts, but it does (1) give adjuncts the right to form their own union and (2) it prohibits adjuncts from being members in full-time units. In essence, it says these two things:

(1) It "authorizes" PT faculty to form a collective bargaining unit.  Section 4 reads: "Both full-time tenured academic employees and part-time nontenured academic employees have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist employee organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and also have the right to refrain from any or all of these activities except to the extent that full-time tenured academic employees may be required to make payments to an exclusive full-time tenured academic bargaining representative while part-time nontenured academic employees may be required to make  payments to an exclusive part-time nontenured bargaining representative, or charitable organization under a union security provision authorized in this chapter."  

Section 5 continues: " Upon filing with the employer the voluntary written authorization of a bargaining unit employee under this chapter, the full-time tenured academic employee organization or the part-time nontenured academic employee organization which is the exclusive bargaining representative of the bargaining unit of the respective full-time tenured or part-time nontenured academic employee organization shall have the right to have deducted from the salary of the bargaining unit employee the periodic dues and initiation fees uniformly required as a condition of acquiring or retaining membership in the exclusive bargaining representative." 
 

(2)  It prohibits joint units.  Section 2 reads, in part: "The legislature intends that collective bargaining units may be composed of either full-time tenured academic employees or part-time nontenured academic employees to strengthen the direct communication of these distinct employee types with the employer."  Section 3 continues: "Full-time tenured academic employees may join full-time tenured collective bargaining units. Part-time nontenured academic employees may join part-time faculty collective bargaining units."
 
 
It also makes a third point.  In Section 6, which prohibits discrimination against academic employees who are union members or union officers in (1), it adds a new provision (2) to explicitly prohibit discrimination against part-time faculty:

"(2) Discrimination against part-time academic employees on the basis of their part-time or nontenured employment status is a violation of this chapter."



Link to Bill:    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2013-14/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Bills/5844.pdf

There was a typo in the email address of the Chair of the Commerce and Labor Committee. 
If it came back to you, please resend your letter.
Here is the correct list, updated from yesterday.

Senate Commerce & Labor

Committee Members

Chair, Janea Holmquist Newbry (R)     janea.holmquistnewbry@leg.wa.gov
Vice Chair John Braun (R)                    john.braun@leg.wa.gov
Steve Conway (D)                                 steve.conway@leg.wa.gov
Bob Hasegawa (D)                                bob.hasegawa@leg.wa.gov
Mike Hewitt (R)                                    mike.hewitt@leg.wa.gov
Curtis King (R)                                      curtis.king@leg.wa.gov
Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D)                         jeanne.kohl-welles@leg.wa.gov
Please be sure to modify your letters significantly ...so they don't look like form letters.  Include personal experiences and observations, and keep it short.  Remember to make the subject line very clear.  And of course don't use campus email for any political activity.

You can make a difference.

Cordially, Keith



InsideHigherEd.com published a review of Dr. Keith Hoeller's new book, Equality for Contingent Faculty: Overcoming the Two-Tier System (Vanderbilt University Press).http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/01/29/book-argues-adjunct-conditions-must-be-viewed-civil-rights-issue
Dr. Keith Hoeller
Washington Part-Time Faculty Association
Seattle, WA