by Ramon Herrera
Adjunct Faculty Representative
Parity has become that unspoken word that is hushed in a low voice; nonetheless, the endeavor is in the right hands. It was here at Glendale Community College (GCC) that this former student learned how to identify, interpret, and argue about what he implicitly knew was unfair in our society. It was a dream come true to return as an instructor! Here at GCC was where he was introduced to Stephan Covey’s (1989) response to Napoleon Hill’s (1937) Think & Grow Rich; to the writings of Charles Dickens, and to the struggles of women throughout history in GCC’s Women’s History course. In trade would be all the entertainment value gained from superstars in politics, movies, and sports for the valuable life lessons taught at this institution! In his mind’s Hall of Fame sit all faculty and staff who were instrumental in his Associate of Arts degree in Social Science. It is with these wonderfully spirited people where the dream to teach in higher education began and has come to actualize itself, as he sits humbly amongst them now as a peer. Therefore, there is no doubt that the too familiar word, “parity,” will also actualize itself.
Those who have come before him as 2nd Vice President of the GCC Guild have worked long and hard alongside their executive committees to acquire parity. Within the past fourteen years, these two superstars were Phyllis Eckler and Julie Gamberg. Together, they have demonstrated that community colleges have not been immune to the growing trend of the involuntary part-time workers in our American society. While Eckler demonstrated the disparity between full-time and part-time faculty pay, and accomplished much for part-time faculty, Gamberg demonstrated the growing trend of community colleges hiring more part-time faculty, and more. Today, the Guild headed by President Zohara Kaye, is working toward an 87.5% parity for part-timers. The negotiation team headed by Mike Allen is leading the way toward this goal by asking the district for a 1% differential raise for part-timers, along with the interpretation that the 67% rule does not apply to ancillary activities and intercession teaching assignments for part-timers. Although the rates of 3:1 part-time vs. full-time faculty may not be flipped anytime soon, this author is confident that, together, Glendale Community College will continue to not only educate the student body about the social injustice in our societies, it will be proactive in demonstrating justice within its organization.
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