Tuesday, February 25, 2014

#Mobilize4Equity! #MayDay2014 is coming!

…a call for support & participation…count us in too. Look for more #MayDayMobilization posts here & to sundry social media MayDay updates, image galleries, history, etc as a regular feature. 

Using an existing labor holiday as focal point for activities, community building, raising awareness and more will be especially effective — as well as appealing. Participation can be whatever and however much or little a group or individual chooses to make of it. The sharing will bring us together. MayDay's universality of the connects this Mobilization, mobilizers and the mobilized to a global network of all workers -- we're all in this together. Join us!

The National Mobilization for Equity is a new coalition focusing on organizing May Day activities to support the majority of college teachers who are currently "contingent." The website has recently been launched.

With barely two months before May Day, here is what is urgently needed:

Friday, February 21, 2014

1939 : Office on wheels

…early version of #adjunct office but who would push us? Not only would we have to work out how to push ourselves but pay parking to boot. On the other hand, throw a a pallet on the desk and a polytarp (aka NOLA blue roof) over a DIY pvc frame, and the office becomes...home. Levity break? Or not?

1939 : Office on wheels ~ Retronaut

KGNU interview: CO #CCEquity Bill

+ link « #DonEron re #EqualPay4EqualWork, @Coloradolark & #adjunct crew, @FRCC AAUP

Don writes, Here's a link to a radio interview conducted with me and Rep. Randy Fischer about #HB1154, the equal pay for equal work community college compensation bill currently before the Colorado legislature: http://www.kgnu.org/economy/2/20/2014

The interview was broadcast yesterday evening on KGNU, a Colorado public radio station. Look for this blurb: Host: Liz Lane, Fighting for Fair Wages II, Two Segments... Our segment begins right before the seven minute mark and runs for about half an hour. 

If you listen, you'll notice that the host, Liz Lane, does not seem to have any difficulty understanding the issues--in fact, she makes as strong a case for the bill as Randy and I do.

Best, Don
(re-posted from adj-l, the Contingent Academics Mailing List)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New Union at Colleges? #Adjunct Instructors Make Push

@seattletimes education reporter @katherinelong writes about adjunct unionization in WA state & the Seattle area.

Act Together WashingtonSEIU Local 925's unionization campaign underway at two private Seattle colleges, Seattle University and Pacific Lutheran University faces continuing administrative resistance despite strong adjunct and student support. Statewide, recent legislative efforts by the Washington Part-Time Faculty Association to establish the right of adjuncts to organize in separate unions stalled this session but will continue. Adjunct JusticeA new faculty majority, Dispatches from the Precarity Zone, and other online sources have covered the WPFA campaign in depth and continue to follow it.
Keith Hoeller, an adjunct professor at Green River Community College, wants adjuncts to be able to form their own, separate union.Adjunct instructors are taking steps to unionize at two private Seattle-area colleges, and some community-college adjuncts want to form a separate union, apart from the one that currently represents them and other faculty.
Longtime adjunct activist Keith Hoeller (pictured above) of the Washington Part-Time Faculty Association invites us to post comments on the Times website:
Today The Seattle Times published, "New Union At Colleges?  Adjunct Instructors Make Push," an article on adjuncts and unions in Washington state.  It highlighted attempts by SEIU to organize adjuncts in the private colleges, and attempts by the Washington Part-Time Faculty Association to pass legislation requiring separate unions for part-time and full-time faculty. 
Ed note: posting link to COCAL's Contingent Academics mailing list, adj-lJack Longmate notes that a subscription may be necessary. Testing links sent by both Keith and Jack, I opened the article in different browsers without difficulty and hope you will be able do the same. 

NJ #adjunct union chapters react to revised #ACA regs

When the revised IRSregulations came out last week on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) there was cause for reserved celebration at many County College adjunct local union chapters in New Jersey. Several of us have been fighting since last February to maintain our teaching loads while the Colleges have been trying to cut our courses in order to cover themselves on hours. 

Our leadership has been working very hard to maintain our income levels while preserving our dignity. Surveys among adjuncts in several County Colleges in NJ show that if we have to make a choice between healthcare access or maintaining our income level the income wins out with a 65% majority. We all agree that this is a horrible decision that we are forced to make, but that is they way it is in real life.
With the IRS now recognizing now that one for the reasonable methods may be a ratio of 1 1/4 hours outside of call for every hour in class (as long as we are not required to hold office hours) this gives us the opportunity to push for the 12 credit load. That would come to 27 hours based on this ratio. To those critics that claim we are demeaning ourselves and underestimating the work we actually do, I say 'you are correct'.

However, given the choices we have it appears that most of our members want to be able to eat, have a place to live, and be able to buy gas for their car. Many of our members have health insurance through Medicare, a retirement system, or their spouse, making the need for additional coverage redundant.Perhaps ACA should provide for exemptions for those of us who do not require the coverage.

We do not know yet how the revised regulations will play out with the colleges, but we will be using this in negotiations to try to convince the schools. I will keep you all informed.

Bill Lipkin

Monday, February 17, 2014

@UICUF strike 2/18/14

@USAS students & CWSC support strike & petition for a #FairContractNowmsg from Roxana Delgado
996131_663211763722288_743280123_nStudents at the University of Illinois-Chicago, like myself, are proud to be a part of our campus community. Members of United Students Against Sweatshops Local 15 at UIC are driven by our goal of making UIC live up to its promise of making education accessible and to transform the world in positive ways. We are a student organization on campus that has mobilized students in support of justice for campus workers and garment workers. 
On the eve of a faculty strike on our campus, we believe its time to recognize solidarity as an important virtue for UIC and to remember the original mission of the university.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

An #adjunct, @MMStrikesBack, writes @nytdavidbrooks

Shirley Temple, The Little Princess*
about his op-ed,The American #Precariat, in Sunday's @NYTimes

 Dear Mr. Brooks,

You may have noticed a new phrase emerging in academic circles sweeping higher education journals, newspapers, websites, twitter and blogs. Precarious, contingent, or adjunct faculty are living in poverty like low wage service employees. Adjuncts are forced into this new economic climate to accept jobs offering semester only contracts (if that) and low salaries as well as few opportunities for health insurance and retirement benefits.

Recently our classes have been cut even further by universities insisting they can’t afford the cost of insuring us with the new health care law. And now we have the cuts in food stamps which is eroding our ability to sustain our families that helped us survive our low wage higher education teaching jobs. We happen to be teaching all over the United States in every academic discipline you could imagine. As 79% of the professors employed, you can imagine this is causing some of us adjuncts to stand up and organize for better working conditions and a more viable future for our colleagues as well as a better learning environment for our students.

David Brooks Phones It In
 In sociology and economics, the precariat is a social class formed by people suffering from precarity, a condition of existence without predictability or security, affecting material or psychological welfare, and also means a member of a proletariat class of industrial workers who lack their own means of production and must sell their labor to live

All of us who work under these definitive conditions have one thing in common. We, like you so cleverly noted, are forced to “rely on friends and family” and “we lack faith in American possibilities.” Not now, we don’t.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Keith Hoeller updates #SB5844—calls for letters

…The Separate Unions for #Adjuncts bill will be heard tomorrow morning, Friday February 7, by the WA Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on the first floor of the Cherberg Building in Olympia.

Today, Jack Longmate and I published an Op-Ed, "State should give part-time community college faculty a fair deal," about SB5844.

There is still time to write and email a letter if you have not already done so. See below for the correct names and emails of the committee members. They often read their emails during the committee hearings.  

Please write a short letter.  The most important part is the subject line.  You can simply say Vote for SB 5844, or Support SB 5844 (Independent Adjunct Unions) or some such variation.  It is unlikely they will read a long letter, but you can tell them briefly who you are and why you think separate unions are necessary.

Monday, February 3, 2014

an #adjunct reflects on living

Dear Mr. Atkinson

I am one of the Adjuncts you speak of in your editorial “The Invisible Professor” published in the Boston Globe on February 2, 2014. As part or full time instructors, we want to be able to participate in our own departments. We want a chance to be recognized for our contributions as human beings, as highly skilled teachers who put every ounce of our energy and passion into our vocation as university educators. 

The funeral is the end of the story – what comes before is more important to me.  It’s the living part that you missed. We want to live.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

#TalkingUnion & Other #Union Songs

music to #mobilize4equity by…from Pete Seeger, the Almanac Singers & the Song Swappers…because it's time.

“Like hymns and patriotic songs, union songs are songs with a message."

Released in 1955, this record is an enduring collection of working man’s anthems that have been passed down through generations of laborers. Liner notes include an introduction by Pete Seeger and song explanations.

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