The real effort should be pay equity at the state level

I have taught part-time music at Cabrillo College for 31 years at the maximum number of units. I am a bit dismayed about the 80 percent cap (Convention votes to raise part-time workload cap to 80 percent, Spring 2018) because that means that the colleges can now cover more classes with underpaid part-timers.

This means fewer full-time jobs, which will make everything (committee work, student contact hours outside of the classroom, etc.) more difficult for the teaching staffs. I understand that the extra work is a godsend for many part-timers but the real effort should be pay equity at the state level, not the local level.

On the other hand, I appreciate your hard work to make things better for part-timers and applaud any advances that are made. I have been in the trenches at Cabrillo several times and the effort required is, at times, heroic.

Don Adkins, PhD
Cabrillo College Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 4400

Changing my workload cap from 67 percent to 80 percent would be a gift to my boss

If they can hire me cheaply, why would they ever hire an expensive full-time teacher? When an employer is allowed to exploit second-tier workers, the first tier will suffer job losses. Allowing adjuncts to do the work of full-time faculty means that over time, full-time faculty jobs will disappear. Unions should fight two-tier systems instead of encouraging them.

Our bosses want to get rid of the tenure system and move towards an entirely contingent workforce. We shouldn’t hand them a weapon. Instead, we should fight to improve pay, benefits, and working conditions for adjuncts. We should fight to make it the law, instead of just a suggestion, that schools must hire full-time faculty. Once we’ve won those, it would make sense to raise the workload cap. But until then, raising the workload cap will only benefit our employers.

Malaika Finkelstein
San Francisco Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2121

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