Coast rights injustice for part-timers working in non-instructional positions

After years of patience andpersistence, the Coast Federation of Educators secured compensation for two part-time non-instructional faculty members who were discovered to be working more hours than a full-timer — at a fraction of the pay. 

When confronted with these violations, according to Local 1911 President Dean Mancina, the district claimed this group of faculty was exempt from both the California Education Code and the local’s collective bargaining agreement.

In one of the cases, the faculty member knew she was being treated unfairly but had reasonable expectation of a full-time job offer so chose to comply temporarily with the inadequate compensation. To her dismay, she was offered a full-time job, but as a classified employee and at a significantly lower rate than she had been making as an adjunct. She declined the offer and now, years later, was finally awarded back pay, the cash equivalent of health benefits she should have been earning, and interest on the debt. 

The combined settlement for the two faculty members totals more than $20,000. “To see this through to the win has taken an inordinate amount of patience and time,” Mancina said, “but this victory means all part-time faculty in non-instructional positions at Coast will be treated the same as full-time faculty in similar settings.”

Los Angeles negotiates improved health benefits

Adjuncts in Los Angeles who teach more than a 50 percent load per semester will have 100 percent of their vision coverage paid, thanks to a new contract negotiated by the Los Angeles College Faculty Guild

For adjuncts teaching at or above a 33 percent load, Local 1521 also secured a commitment from the district to contribute 50 percent of the average premium cost (at the individual rate) in any one of three HMO or two PPO medical plans.

Adjuncts may also buy into two dental plans, but at their own cost.

Santa Clarita adjuncts win 10 percent pay increase for doctorate 

Negotiators for Part-Time Faculty United at the College of the Canyons won a 10 percent pay increase for adjuncts with a doctoral degree, a 2 percent overall increase on the salary schedule (retroactive to fall semester), additional funding for office hours, and more paid flex hours for adjuncts in departments that do not hold regular meetings or retreats. 

Additionally, part-time faculty will now have the right to one-year class assignments, an improvement upon the current system of semester-to-semester class assignments in the Santa Clarita district. Lastly, senior part-time faculty who have taught at the college 10 years or more will be evaluated every six semesters rather than ever four semesters. 

Union members voted unanimously to ratify the contract, which represents important advances for the 410 adjunct instructors in the district. 

But according to Pete Virgadamo, president of Local 6262, much work remains to be done in the next round of negotiations. “The fact is that for all of our hard work, we are poorly compensated and have little in terms of benefits. Part-time faculty here are among the lowest paid in Southern California, and make as much as 25 percent less than adjuncts in neighboring districts.” 

Virgadamo said Local 6262 plans to continue the fight for better pay, access to health insurance, and improved job seniority.

Part-Timer welcomes Linda Sneed

Linda Sneed, part-time English instructor at Cosumnes River College in Elk Grove, is the new assigning editor for Part-Timer. 

“I have always been a passionate instructor,” says Sneed, who began teaching college in 1993. “More recently, I have discovered how much work is necessary to defend affordable quality education and the rights of the working people who make this possible for students every day.”

Sneed is one of four part-time faculty representatives on the executive board of the 2,000-member Los Rios College Federation of Teachers,  is a member of the CFT Part-Time Committee, an elected representative for part-time faculty on the CFT Community College Council, and earlier this year, became one of two part-time faculty members of the 24-member CFT Executive Council. 

“In all of these positions, I work to represent your interests as professionals dedicated to your students and deserving of the same rights and benefits afforded your full-time colleagues,” Sneed concludes. “CFT will continue to inform and inspire part-time faculty to take action in every possible way to improve our working conditions.”