WASHINGTON STATE AND CALIFORNIA TAKE THE LEAD ON ADJUNCT EQUITY

 

PSCcuny
NEWS BULLETIN

APRIL 2001

 

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Washington State & California Take the Lead on Adjunct Equity

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"Teach CUNY" and the Classroom

How Not to Teach at CUNY

The Past Year and the Union's Future

Against Common Sense

 

 

Washington State may well be leading the nation in finding new ways to improve the working conditions of part-time faculty. The 2000 legislature passed a bill mandating that colleges offer part-time faculty sick leave prorated on the percentage of a full-time teaching load. The bill allowed part-time faculty to participate in the state’s shared-leave program for the first time. In November 2000, Washington voters overwhelmingly approved automatic cost-of-living raises to K-12 and community and technical college faculty, including part-time instructors.

The current 2001 legislative session is considering allocating another $20 million toward increasing part-time faculty salaries. It is also weighing whether to direct the state board that oversees community and technical colleges to give due consideration to part-time faculty in the hiring of new full-time faculty and to develop positions giving preference to long-term part-time faculty in the choosing and scheduling of courses. These moves come in response to pressure from the AFT in Washington State, which has made adjunct issues a priority.

After intense state-wide adjunct organizing efforts, the California legislature (following the case of Cervisi v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board), wrote laws in l989 guaranteeing adjuncts “unemployment compensation for periods between semesters, including summer breaks,” determining that similarly highly contingent employment “offers” did not provide “reasonable assurance” of employment. In January 2001, after a state audit comparing part-time and full-time compensation, Governor Gray Davis’ budget recommended $62 million as down payment on achieving parity, as well as $7.8 million to allow some pay for office hours, to allow better access for students to their instructors.