An Adjunct’s Truth

The following post is one I received from an adjunct, who, as you will read here, is facing the very issues that this year’s Campus Equity Week campaign has been pointing out. She chooses to remain anonymous, and we respect her wishes.

#classcanceled

Campus Equity Week 2020

I am an adjunct counselor at two community colleges. At one of my community colleges where I have been for seven years and have “seniority,” my hours per week have been slashed from 25 to 18 to 14 and now to 7. I usually find out my hours for the semester the Friday before the Monday start date. 


This last cut, given with mere days notice, caused me to have to move to a smaller apartment immediately as I could no longer pay my rent. I also can no longer make my ACA payment of 729.00 per month. At this point, I am housing and food insecure, as well as worried about lack of healthcare. 
I feel that I am one interview away from the respect that I deserve as a faculty member. Going from part – time to full- time would change my world, and yet I know the odds are against it. 


I often wonder why the full-time tenured faculty who are in a privileged and untouchable position, don’t reach out to help us in any way. Do they not remember what it was like to be an adjunct, or is it that they just don’t care?


For me, how adjuncts are treated by our respective institutions is unethical and immoral. They say they are concerned with equality and equity, but I remain unconvinced. 

CFT 2020 Campus Equity Week Campaign

Posted for the AFT-Adjunct Contingent Caucus:

#classcanceled

Dear Adjunct Faculty or Friends of Adjunct/Contingent Faculty,

In honor of Campus Equity Week, and to raise awareness about the social injustice adjunct/contingent faculty face every day, the California Federation of Teachers Part-time Committee is asking everyone to adopt the hashtag #classcanceled. 

Classes get canceled for a variety of reasons like 

  • budget cuts 
  • low enrollment
  • seniority and bumping rights, at the beginning of the semester. 

Sometimes Adjunct faculty have to cancel a class for the day because professors 

  • Get sick
  • Run into car accidents, or 
  • other personal emergencies. 

COVID-19 has made life challenging for all, but especially for adjunct faculty and their teaching and working conditions. Adjunct faculty are the first to 

  • Lose classes
  • Lose their income
  • Spend money out of pocket for teaching supplies and equipment to teach remotely
  • Pay for their own healthcare/health insurance or neglect their health because they cannot afford it
  • Fall into poverty
  • Fall homeless

Higher education in California and across the country has failed our adjunct professors. Classes are getting canceled. Higher education is getting canceled. If faculty cannot get healthcare during a covid-19 worldwide crisis, when can they achieve healthcare? How can one of the richest countries in the world look the other way, while faculty are not covered. How can California not provide their most fundamental workers, faculty, who teach the next generation of students, with one of the most basic, fundamental human rights, access and coverage for healthcare. 

To raise awareness for these issues we ask that members change their Facebook Frame to the Campus Equity Week Frame. To do this go click to edit your profile picture. One of the options will be “Add Frame”. Once you click add frame a search bar will come up. Search for “Campus Equity Week” and the frame with the red circle that says “Equity for Adjunct Faculty” is the one you want to click on. You can set it to only stay for a week, so after CEW the frame will be removed from your photo.

We also ask that members and locals share their adjunct stories to their social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) using the hashtag #classcanceled. If a member wants to share their story but remain anonymous have them send a private message or email to your local and share the story to your feed without using their name or other identifying markers. Retweet and repost your members’ stories on your feed (but always ask permission first if their pages are private) as well as other stories of members not in your local if you come across them on your feed. You can send stories to Geoff Johnson at aftadjunctcontingent@gmail.com to share on the AFT-ACC (AFT Adjunct/Contingent Caucus) website and the blog “Adjunct Crisis.” 

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