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Chaparral 2012-2013: 21.6 Adjunct Junction

Adjunct Junction (May 2013)

Adjunct Junction: Understanding the Salary "Ball of Wax" of Negotiations

by Phyllis Eckler

Guild 2nd Vice President

You may have recently heard talk about a “ball of wax” that was being formulated to encompass many of the issues that have been brought to the table as part of the guild and district openers for a new three year contract. As you may suspect many of these issues have a monetary impact. Below I will share with you some of the main points of this salary negotiation package along with some analysis of the “pros and cons”.

Why are full-time faculty receiving a raise in pay?
Full-time instructional faculty will be receiving a 2% raise to their base pay this year and another 2% raise next year to offset the loss of 35 percent salary from future intersessions (formerly known as “pro-rata pay”. See my March 2013 article in the Chaparral at ). Counselors will not have any increase in their annual salary.

What are adjunct faculty receiving?
Adjunct faculty will be getting a promise that the current 5.96% of salary known as the “parity percentage” (see salary schedule B-1), will be included in their hourly rate into the future, and raises will also be based on that money. In the past, this parity percentage often dropped when the State withheld funding and no raises were ever given on that part of salary.
Most credit adjunct faculty will be getting a raise in intersession pay while adjuncts in the non-credit area will be kept on the present B-2 schedule. That is because ALL faculty, both full-time and part-time, will be paid a percentage of the full-time salary (schedule A) according to the load determined for their discipline.

The way hourly pay will be calculated will be based on 65% of what a full-time faculty member would get per hour of teaching (based on the subject area’s load) capped at step 8.  Hourly pay for full-time faculty and part-time faculty within a particular load area will be equal during intersessions. Adjunct faculty in a low load area such as English Composition (load of 14) will receive around $85 per classroom hour while those adjuncts teaching in high load areas (such as the 24 hour load non-credit area) will be around $65 (see Salary Schedule B-2). All salary schedules (for adjuncts and full-time faculty) can be found at

Why are adjuncts getting different hourly pay rates?
Full-time faculty, in fact, get different hourly pay rates for teaching based on how much preparation, assessment, grading time and other work is deemed to be required for their subject area. This is what is known as load. To get a sense of the load for each area you can check out Article VI Section 4 of our Guild contract on page 25. When adjunct pay is tied to the hourly pay rates of full-time faculty, part-timers benefit in a variety of ways. Under a pay scale that is tied to load, when a discipline area reduces their load the hourly pay for adjunct faculty in that discipline area goes up (while their allowable teaching hours may diminish). Adjunct faculty in low load areas, who are restricted in the number of hours they can work under the “67% law”, benefit by being paid more for each of hour of work. Tying part-time wages to the hourly wages of full-time faculty protect adjunct faculty since all groups benefit or are hurt by proposed salary changes. Working together toward salary improvement make us a stronger negotiating body.

What are the other monetary agreements that will be affecting all faculty?
We are also looking at recouping a promised 1% raise from 2008, that will begin on July 1, 2013, for all faculty. At the same that the district is demanding a .25% salary give back for all of 2012-13. This pay cut (equivalent to a 2.5% cut from one month’s check) will be evident on the final check of the semester due at the beginning of July. This cut has been agreed to and implemented for all other employee groups on campus. Given our district’s “me too” standard for raises and pay cuts on campus, it is a salary cut that faculty still owe the district budget for 2012-13.

More intersession courses will be offered this summer and during winter 2014. Future intersessions are promised with a set floor as to the percentage of courses that will be offered (based on the number of courses offered in the previous semester). One needs to keep in mind that the district has the right to choose how these intersession courses will be allocated among all the department areas. It is not something that can be negotiated.

What are the “pros and cons” of this salary agreement?
As with the all negotiations there are areas that win and areas that lose. The district has to give up certain rights and monetary positions, as does the Guild. While many adjunct faculty have been waiting a long time for a new step (a pay increase for years of service) on their salary schedule, that goal alluded us during this round of negotiations. However, it is still very much in the minds of the Guild. Meanwhile the issue of “equal pay for equal work,” that has long been a rallying cry for part-timers, will be achieved with this agreement – at least during intersessions. The availability of more intersession courses may help adjunct faculty and perhaps, the lower rate of pay that full-time faculty will experience may dissuade them from taking on these assignments (since full-time faculty have first right of refusal during intersessions).
The inclusion of the parity percentage in the base pay will stop the constant threat of pay cuts to adjunct faculty.

Salary negotiations for 2013-14 have not yet begun and the survey that was recently done highlighted several areas for improvement in adjunct salaries. Some of these have already been achieved in this agreement – improved intersession pay (for most adjunct faculty), more course offerings during summer and winter intersessions, and inclusion of the parity percentage in the base. Achieving higher pay for more educational attainment (another column or “class,” or extra pay for a doctorate degree) and getting another step for longevity are still goals that part-time faculty want to see. The union is on board in support of those objectives.

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