It looks like one of the areas that will likely be expanding as a result of Proposition 30, is the number of course offerings for summer and winter intersessions. This is great news for students, but also for faculty who have suffered economically without these periods of employment.
Adjunct faculty need to be aware of their position when it comes to the allocation of these intersession assignments – especially since the Guild and District have been discussing trading of a .25% pay cut for the year in return for more Summer 2013 classes. First priority for any intersession courses goes to full-time contract faculty. This is done on a rotation basis so full-time faculty who have not taught in a previous intersession have priority over others. These contract faculty have a right to 7 units (or about two credit courses).
Whatever courses are leftover from that allocation are offered to adjunct faculty who have worked the previous academic year at the college before being offered to any outside part-time instructor. This distribution of adjunct assignments is not bound by any rotation system and is strictly at the discretion of the division chair (unless a system has been set up in the division). Adjunct faculty on the Rehire Rights list do not have any special priority for intersession courses.
The current pay discrepancy between full-time faculty and adjunct faculty teaching intersessions however is vast. Adjunct faculty are usually paid about half of what full-time contract faculty are remunerated, for doing the very same work during intersessions. Neither group is required to fulfill office hour obligations (although many do) and there is no committee, shared governance, program or curriculum work required of either group during intersessions. If one looks at a chart comparing the pay of faculty members in both groups with various levels of educational attainment (e.g., B.A., M.A. - called “class” in the salary schedule), one can see the disparity.
The District and the Guild are now in talks to consider ending this huge difference in compensation by lowering contract faculty salaries for intersessions, however the District will be required to compensate faculty for the savings that will be realized. The union will be going to the membership to help:
A) determine if this practice of paying full-time faculty substantially more to teach intersessions (known as “pro-rata pay”) should end and
B) if so, who should benefit from the ongoing savings that will be realized.
Some full-time faculty, such as Mark Maier, an economics professor, believe that full-time faculty have come to count on intersession pay as part of their annual income and have suffered in their take home pay with the loss of these intersession teaching opportunities. Full-time faculty are not eligible for unemployment benefits during teaching breaks as adjunct faculty are.
“Our goal should be to raise adjunct pay to parity with full-time instructors, not to lower part of the traditional pay package for full-timers,” says Maier.
Meanwhile, other full-time faculty, such as Piper Rooney in the English department, feel that, “Education should always be about equity and social justice, not simply in access or class content, but in the way we conduct ourselves as an institution. The truth is, while we allow our fellow instructors to exist under the financial strain of inequitable pay, and the psychological strain of not knowing what their next semester’s allocation of classes will be, we are not sustaining that ideal.”
Your opportunity to weigh in on this decision will come in the form of a survey which will be distributed on March 22 to all Guild members (non-union members will not be allowed to vote on this matter). Please make sure to look for this survey and make your opinion known to the Guild by dropping your survey in the ballot boxes set up in the mailrooms to receive them.
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