On February 25th, 2015 adjunct/contingent faculty rallied on more than 100 campuses across the United States to speak out against decades of their exploitation and both unfair and unequal treatment. This was obviously not the first such event in which adjunct/contingent faculty spoke out against their working conditions, but it was the first which captured the larger mainstream media narrative.
At the time, there were calls for a National Adjunct Walkout Day, and though a small number of adjuncts did in fact, walk out, many still rallied and spoke out.
In some cases, such as in the state of California, the actions helped to launch state legislative categorical funding initiatives which have in successive years lead to increased funding for more full-time positions, paid-part time office hours, equity pay, and a minimum bar for rehire rights language for California Community College Adjuncts. The gains were small, but significant.
In successive years, the idea of such an event has morphed into an Adjunct Action Day, during which adjuncts, students, full-time employees, and other members of a particular campus community including administrators and para-professional/classified staff spoke to the issue of adjunctification.
While there were large numbers of campuses who participated in events in 2015, the following years have seen drop offs to where a smattering of campuses will mark such an event over the course of a Winter of Spring term.
We in San Diego have held the event every year in the San Diego, Grossmont-Cuyamaca, and Southwestern Community College Systems, and once again will do so on February 28th, 2019.
The date is significant for us in that the first NAWD/Adjunct Action Day Event was held on what was the fourth Wednesday in February, which by its very placement in the middle of the school week, and relatively early our Spring Semester allows for us to put forth ideas on the improvement of adjunct/contingent working conditions that we can carry forth on the state level up through the Spring, into June, when the state budget is settled, and into early Fall, when legislation is signed.
This year, we will be pushing for the following:
1) Expanding part-time office hour funding by 150 million dollars statewide
2) Increasing funding for more full-time positions, also by 150 million dollars
3) Ending the proposal for a performance-based funding model for California Community
Colleges (which will directly hurt students and adjuncts if enacted)
4) Providing up to twelve weeks of maternity leave for female educators which is not taken from
either their sick or disability leave
5) Raising the single-district teaching cap from 67% to 85%
6) Increasing transparency while improving rehire rights language
We will also be standing in solidarity with CUNY’s call for 7K per class.
Our efforts with past Adjunct Action Days have borne fruit, but we can only truly harvest our activism if more groups hold Adjunct Action Day Rallies, either on February 28th, or another day in the Spring.
Make it happen adjuncts, and fight for what you deserve!
A “Good Adjunct”