Thursday, July 23, 2020

Dr. Keith Hoeller's Article Describes Unemployment Benefits Bog for College Faculty Who are Classified as Adjunct, Part Time, or Contingent.

Dr. Keith Hoeller's July 22, 2020 publication provides a wealth of background regarding the stacked deck of unemployment benefits for adjunct faculty. Besides the important details from past to present, the article includes ways to successfully file and receive unemployment benefits, as well as first hand narratives and reports from other adjunct faculty, including Jack Longmate. 
"Monthly Review Online has just published [Dr. Keith Hoeller's] lengthy article called "Colleges Layoff Underpaid Adjuncts Then Challenge Their Unemployment Claims":

It is a history of the term "reasonable assurance" and its interpretation by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).  It is also a history of the many attempts to try and get the DOL to change its discrimination against adjuncts.  I offer several solutions to these problems.

Thanks to the California court decision known as   Cervisi, adjuncts in California do not face the same kind of hassles and hurdles that adjuncts in all the other states confront.  But the DOL has vigorously fought the many efforts to expand the   Cervisi decision nationwide.

There is also a sidebar article by Jack Longmate describing the plight of one adjunct here in Washington state."


“We Now Have the Worst Unemployment Rate Since the Great Depression,” read   Slate’s headline. The 20.5 million jobs lost in April and the nearly 15% unemployment rate “may understate the actual extent of joblessness,” writes reporter Jacob Weissman.

"More than   51 million people have filed initial unemployment claims since the pandemic lockdown began seventeen weeks ago. But if you add the millions of people who dropped out and stopped looking for work, writes   DailyKos reporter Meteor Blades, the real unemployment rate was more likely 26.3%, or “higher than the worst of the Great Depression at 25.6% in May 1933. Almost three times worse than the Great Recession at 10% in October 2009.”

"Though most colleges have been able to forestall some faculty layoffs by moving Spring classes online and instituting hiring freezes, the   Chronicle of Higher Education says that 20,000 jobs were lost in March alone, which is two and one-half times the next highest monthly job loss in the past forty years. The   Chronicle is now keeping a   college by college tally of pay cuts, unpaid furloughs and faculty layoffs, though they are not tracking whether these are hitting tenure-track or contingent professors the hardest.

“June Brought More Faculty Layoffs” headlined an article in   Forbes magazine.  Michael Nietzel gave a roll call of colleges and universities laying off professors, and wrote, “The announcements come after other cost-cutting measures—widespread furloughs, salary reductions, elimination of vacant positions and large cutbacks in operating expenses—have proven insufficient to cover ever-widening budget holes.”

For the complete article, please see:

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