NAWD Action Item #8: Write a Politician a Letter

Good Adjuncts:

Having a rally and making noise is good, turning it into action is better.  In California currently many activists are engaged in getting the Governor to address adjunctification by categorically dedicating:

30 Million dollars to adjunct office hours

50 million dollars to equity pay

100 million dollars to more full-time positions

In addition, there is proposed legislation being considered regarding the creation of three-year contracts for adjuncts.

Anyway, below please notice series of sample letters you might send to Governor Brown.  Copy and paste one into a word file, sign it and send it to one of the addresses given below:

Governor Jerry Brown

c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173

Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Brown:

As you may or may not know, part-time, temporary instructors teach approximately 70% of the courses at community colleges. In many districts these individuals are paid far less than their full-time counterparts even though they have exactly the same credentials and teach exactly the same courses.

As a result, many of these part-timers are forced to take on multiple jobs and work in multiple districts in order to make ends meet. Furthermore, very few districts compensate adjunct faculty for office hours and those that do often compensate at a very low rate (in some cases barely more than the minimum wage).

Given that there is a clear benefit to students from faculty who are decently compensated, and given that students benefit greatly from access to faculty during office hours I would encourage you to increase funding in the state budget in order to correct these deficiencies.

Specifically, I am asking that you allocate additional funds for the categorical line items that currently exist for parity/equity compensation and paid office hours for part-time temporary faculty in the California Community College system in the amount of $30 million for paid office hours, and $50 million for parity/equity compensation. In addition, I ask you to also allocate $100 million for the conversion of existing part-time temporary faculty to full-time faculty status.

Sincerely,

­____________________________

(sign)

____________________________

(print)

____________________________

(date)

Here’s Another:

Governor Jerry Brown

c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173

Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Brown:

As a part-time faculty member teaching in a California community college, I am writing to ask your support in improving the quality of higher education in our state by bettering the working conditions experienced by part-time instructors who teach 70 – 80% of all college classes today. Although part-time faculty are highly trained professionals who hold the same qualifications and deliver the same instructional services as our full-time counterparts, we receive only 50 – 60% of the financial compensation earned by full-time faculty on a per class basis.  We find this inherently unfair – to our students, to our institutions, to the taxpayers at large, and to ourselves.

Over the last six years, the number of students either earning a two-year degree at a California community college, or transferring to a four-year institution, has fallen by 2.6%. Studies at the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute show this is a direct result of the inequalities that currently exist between part-time and full-time instructors. Because part-time faculty receive lower pay and few if any benefits, many of us are compelled to take on teaching loads which exceed those of our full-time colleagues. We work at multiple institutions of higher learning, which reduces our availability to students as well as the time we can devote to providing vital feedback on student work and to preparing for classroom instruction. This negatively impacts student retention and graduation rates.

Our institutions of higher learning and the taxpayers at large are adversely impacted as well. Many of us live under financial duress. Some of us, after years or decades of dedicated service to the profession we love, find the hardship too great, and leave teaching altogether.  Our students and our institutions feel such losses keenly, as do we ourselves. Those of us who persist in our educational calling are often compelled to draw regularly on state unemployment or food stamps in an effort to survive between, and even during, semesters.  News media have also reported dramatic – but telltale – stories of tragic homelessness for some part-time educators. We do not wish to rely upon social services to make ends meet, but part-time/full-time inequality has created a paradoxical situation in which some of our society’s most highly educated and productive citizens come, by necessity, to rely upon welfare programs paid for by taxpayers.

Specifically, I am asking that you allocate additional funds for the categorical line items that currently exist for parity/equity compensation and paid office hours for part-time temporary faculty in the California Community College system in the amount of $30 million for paid office hours, and $50 million for parity/equity compensation. In addition, I ask you to also allocate $100 million for the conversion of existing part-time temporary faculty to full-time faculty status. Help us to create fair and equitable working conditions that will benefit our students, our institutions, and our taxpayers by building today the basis for an educated tomorrow.

Sincerely,

­____________________________

(sign)

____________________________

(print)

____________________________

(date)

Governor Jerry Brown

c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173

Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Brown:

Let me begin by acknowledging that, given your recent budget proposal, it is clear that you value the California Community College System, and recognize its importance for the citizens and the future of our great state. That being said, I am writing to ask you to more clearly set aside some of the money in your proposed budget specifically for adjunct issues. As I hope you are aware, adjuncts make significantly less than their full-time counterparts despite teaching the same courses with the same credentials and the same level of experience. Furthermore, these part-time professors must work multiple jobs at multiple districts to make ends meet. This all too often comes at the expense of students because their professors simply don’t have enough time in the day to give these students the time they need in order to be successful. The only way to address this problem is to reduce the number of adjuncts and improve the working conditions of those that remain.

While I understand that you prefer to leave a great deal of control over budgeting to local districts, the simple fact is that this kind of attitude has only made the situation worse. In those districts with strong unions, various protections have been established for adjuncts, but these tend to be the exception rather than the rule. If we want our students to succeed, if we want to retain them and ensure their ability to graduate or transfer and succeed at four years colleges, we must do more to improve the lives of the adjunct instructors who are increasingly the backbone of the community college system.

Consequently, I am asking you not to increase your already generous budget for the community colleges, but instead to take some of the money out of the budget an earmark it for adjunct concerns. Specifically, I am asking that you allocate additional funds for the categorical line items that currently exist for parity/equity compensation and paid office hours for part-time temporary faculty in the California Community College system in the amount of $30 million for paid office hours, and $50 million for parity/equity compensation. In addition, I ask you to also allocate $100 million for the conversion of existing part-time temporary faculty to full-time faculty status.

Sincerely,

­____________________________

(sign)

____________________________

(print)

____________________________

(date)

Addresses for National Adjunct Action Day Lobbying Campaign All letter should be addressed to the Governor and then CC the other people on the list.

Governor Jerry Brown State Capitol, Suit 1173 Sacramento, CA 95814

Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins P.O. Box 942849 Sacramento, CA 94249-0078

Senate President Pro Temp Kevin De León

State Capitol, Room 205

Sacramento, CA 95814

Senate Education Budget Subcommittee Chair Marty Block

State Capitol, Room 4072 Sacramento, CA 95814

Assembly Education Finance Budget Subcommittee Chair Kevin McCarty

P.O. Box 942849, Room 2160

Sacramento, CA 94249-0007

Department of Finance Director Michael Cohen

915 L Street

Sacramento, CA 95814

Department of Finance Program Budget Director Nick Schweizer

915 L Street

Sacramento, CA 95814

Community College Chancellor Brice Harris

1102 Q Street, Suite 4554

Sacramento, CA 95811

Now start writing and sending those letters good Adjuncts!

Geoff Johnson

A Good Adjunct

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One thought on “NAWD Action Item #8: Write a Politician a Letter

  1. Many thanks for re-printing and re-posting the CPFA letter that was sent on to our Governor a couple of months ago in response to a “silly smoke and mirrors” letter from Jim Mahler of CFT that was supposedly speaking to the same needs as we addressed in our note. Carry on, Precariats. Send stuff off. This time might just be the charm, as we have been trying for years to get a “seat at the table,” on discussions regarding ed. policy, governance and general concerns that directly effect student success, let alone our ability to make a living wage and not be constantly short-changed at labor negotiations when we are “represented” by PORCARIATs who are fully in control of the Edu-Unions here in California. Maybe one of your efforts will get past the numerous gatekeepers at the Governor’s office and you might hear from himself! All we can do is try to find ways to get our positions known. Thanks again, Robert B. Yoshioka, Leg. Analyst, CPFA. robertby07@gmail.com. Let us know how we can help, and if any of you are in Sacramento on February 25, stop by the Capitol Steps (North Portico) at 12:30 and be counted! Cheers, RBY

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