NAWD Action Item #9: Act Up So That Others No Longer Live and Work in Fear

Good Adjuncts:

We are 24 hours away from the largest labor action in Adjunct history, and we need to act up.

This past weekend, I went to a statewide teacher’s union conference.  Knowing that many of the adjunct reps in the union, especially the statewide reps, were highly supportive of efforts of adjuncts to improve their own lot,  I went to the conference with the positive hopes that I would be networking on actions that we going to happen, and I expected some discussion of the matter by the state leadership.

Instead, in the words of George Castanza, I got nothing.

On the part-time literature table, I saw nothing but the same generic union crap that always gets passed out, except that this time there wasn’t even anything about equity.  It was in fact worse than when I went to the conference in the Fall.  One of the people there, a person who was in fact organizing an NAWD march on Sacramento, didn’t even have stickers to promote his event.  I had to give him stickers.

Later, in a special session on part-time organizing, the organizers deftly managed through their presentation to talk about everything but Feb. 25th.

I, being the kind of guy I am (and if you haven’t that figured out, you’ve never read me before) made it clear they were not dealing with the issue.

To my comments, I was told the idea of NAWD was broached, but that the leadership was afraid that it would cost workers their jobs, and so they did nothing.

Well yes, if people just up and walked off the job, that would be a fear, but why didn’t any of these brainiacs think of calling it simply a “Day of Action”, and organize rallies or symbolic “walkouts”?

The complete lack of creativity here is astounding.

Just so you know, six of the eight major community college campuses in San Diego County are having rallies.

And why, when others do nothing?  Because we’ve thought it out, formed links with student governments, academic senates, full-time faculty, governing board members, and even administration.

…And because, those of us who refuse to live in fear must act because others quite apparently do, and unless we act, they will continue to do so.

By the way, as I and my comrade in arms, John Hoskins, have shown in the action items, there’s a lot you can do without baiting the bear, if you really think the bear’s going to eat you.  Do the following if at all possible:

1)  Wear stickers which identify you as an adjunct, and make it clear that you’re essential.

2) Get students to wear stickers.

3) Get your full-time faculty, administrators, and governing board colleagues to wear stickers in support (I have gotten more help from these groups than even from my own adjuncts to see this event happen).

4)  Send letters to your governor, board members, and state legislators calling for specific changes, like paid office hours, equity pay, more full-time positions, etc.

5) Show up at rallies.  If you’re afraid to be at a rally at your own campus, go to another campus’s rally.

And stop being afraid!

Geoff Johnson

A “Good” adjunct who refuses to live in fear.

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3 thoughts on “NAWD Action Item #9: Act Up So That Others No Longer Live and Work in Fear

  1. Geoff, your report on what the union didn’t do is unfair and completely misrepresents what went on behind the scenes. That you could leave the conference and report with contempt that we “braniacs” did nothing is completely unjustified. The CCA board works in a democratic way which obligates us to respect differences of opinion which do exist – even in the union. I would have been more than happy to have discussed this issue with you. Karen

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  2. Geoff, great points here–and I’m glad you mentioned NAWD!….but if you remembered my opener, “fear” is part of our lives as PTF including “apathy” and “isolation” as you well know, no tenure either. But in any case, the panel and the session (“Building Membership”) was determined last fall and the structure that came with it. CCA planned this out, including the CCA Part-reps, and to deviate from the set program would have been a disservice to those who attended the workshop if we completely changed the format. We certainly could have put some items on the table and so I can take the blame for this, but without any context here (as mentioned in your observations), much of your finger pointing is misplaced. Best, John

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