Community College Articles

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Community College

News and stories of interest for full-time and part-time faculty teaching in the community colleges. 

Part-timers and allies lobby legislators for healthcare, pay parity
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Students and full-time faculty join forces with part-time faculty

From the Bay Area to San Diego, and from the Central Valley to the Mojave Desert, part-time community college faculty, along with full-time faculty and student allies, gathered at Sacramento’s famed Sutter Club on Monday morning, May 1, to go forth and make California legislators aware of the critical need for part-time faculty healthcare and pay parity.

Article part-time faculty PT campaign

Part-Time Faculty Conference empowers through learning
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Workshops focus on bargaining, lobbying, organizing, diversity, communications

When it comes to union work, power and knowledge work hand in hand. Union is not simply about expressing demands, speaking truth to power, and being resolute in the face of adversity. It’s about making connections, sharing truths, building solidarity, empowering, and speaking to be heard.

Developing the knowledge to do these things and putting the power of that knowledge to use was core to the workshops at the CFT Part-Time Faculty Conference held May 1-2 in Sacramento.

Article part-time faculty PT campaign
conference group shot

Part-time faculty power up for change
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Conference spotlights CFT equity campaign for contingent faculty

A crowd of more than 100 members strong — some seasoned part-timers with decades of experience, others new adjuncts for which this was their first union event — were engaged as the CFT Part-Time Faculty Conference opened to roars and cheers with its theme of “Equity for Contingent Faculty.” The feeling one had as a part-timer was best summed up by Lin Chan, co-chair of the CFT Part-Time Faculty Committee, “You’re not one person…you’re one of thousands.”

Article part-time faculty PT campaign
CFT Part-Time Faculty Survey Report 2022

Groundbreaking CFT survey calls out healthcare crisis among part-time faculty
Critical insights into part-time faculty in community colleges statewide

The results of CFT’s groundbreaking statewide survey of part-time faculty offer critical insights into the daily, personal, and structural challenges that part-time and contingent faculty experience when it comes to healthcare.  

Article PT campaign part-time faculty coronavirus
Samira RostamiTehmina KhanBernadette MoordigianSamira Rostami in classroom

What does losing healthcare look like for part-time faculty in our community colleges? Part 2
Pandemic, declining enrollment has led to loss of health benefits

Samira Rostami has taught Communication Studies at Grossmont College since 2014, as well as at four other San Diego area higher ed institutions including the University of San Diego. Her health took a dramatic turn for the worse shortly after area campuses closed in late March 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. 

Article coronavirus part-time faculty SCFF
AdFac President Seija RohkeaBarbara Baer

Continued enrollment woes create local challenges for part-time faculty
Local unions finding solutions in pandemic-driven tough times

While California is showing strong signs of emerging from an economy ravaged by the pandemic, the community colleges are still reeling from the impact, most strongly demonstrated in the sharp decline in student enrollment. This has led to tough situations for many adjuncts, and for the local unions representing them.

Article part-time faculty
HELU Winter SummittHigher Ed Labor United logo

HELU Winter Summit unites efforts across unions
Promotes socio-economic and racial justice in higher education

HELU, or Higher Education Labor United, a cross-union and cross-sector coalition, held its Winter Summit virtually on February 23-27, pushing forward with the larger goals of reclaiming the promise of higher education, and promoting socio-economic and racial justice embodied by the New Deal for Higher Education campaign and Scholars for a New Deal in Higher Education.

Honour Harry with a folder of paintings done by seniorsMike BradburyHonour Harry walking to workHistory teacher Juli Jones

What does losing healthcare look like for part-time faculty in our community colleges? Part 1
Pandemic, declining enrollment has led to loss of health benefits

Honour Harry works two jobs — as a freelance illustrator and doing children’s education at a local church — in addition to her job teaching art for the North Orange Community College District. Harry doesn’t teach on campus. Instead, she goes into nursing homes, often working with people who are in memory care and who are immunocompromised.

Article AFT part-time faculty PT campaign

New AFT report shows pandemic wreaked havoc on nation’s adjunct faculty
Transition to remote learning, impact of virus lead to declines in job security, increased reliance on public assistance

WASHINGTON — A new national adjunct faculty survey from the AFT underlines the brutal economic reality faced by millions of contingent and adjunct faculty at the nation’s colleges and universities — and illustrates how the pandemic further eroded job security and bolstered the need for public help.

Article part-time faculty PT campaign
members on zoom

Part-time faculty step up to win the healthcare they deserve
Dozens of faculty testify before state legislative committees

Dozens of CFT members testified this week in front of two different budget subcommittees of the California Legislature to urge our elected leaders in Sacramento to support Governor Newsom’s $200 million proposal in the state budget to fund healthcare for part-time faculty in California’s community colleges.

Following the launch of CFT’s campaign for part-time faculty healthcare last fall and a successful letter campaign, the governor included the $200 million in his January budget proposal.

Article PT campaign state budget part-time faculty

Member action leads governor to pledge $200 million toward part-time faculty healthcare
CFT campaign brings early success in state budget

The CFT campaign to secure healthcare for part-time faculty in the community colleges is up and running, and it’s clear that member action has already led to early success in Sacramento.

During the holiday break, 1,400 people sent letters to Governor Newsom and key legislators demanding funding for part-time faculty healthcare. As a result of these efforts, the governor allocated $200 million in his January 10 state budget proposal to fund healthcare for part-time faculty on an ongoing basis. This increase represents more than 400 times the level of funding in the existing state program.

Article student debt
Jessica Saint-Paul at work Peter Huk is a lecturer of writing at UC Santa Barbara Kristi Jacobson at her classroom door

What does gratitude look like? Find out from three members deep in student debt
How AFT’s legal victory with the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program will change lives

In 2018, Jessica Saint-Paul, who has a doctorate in medical science and teaches public health and health occupation courses at Southwest and Trade Tech colleges, attended a benefits conference put on by her local, the Los Angeles College Faculty Guild. They covered Public Service Loan Forgiveness, a federal program that promised if you worked in public service for 10 years and made 120 payments, the remainder of your loan would be forgiven.

Article coronavirus part-time faculty
CFT officers with officers of Adjunct Faculty United outside campus building, standing socially distancedWest Valley-Mission Federation receiving check from HSBC, all wearing masks

Part-time faculty face loss of work, health benefits in COVID times
Locals negotiate vaccine stipends, reduced class minimums, retention of health benefits

As the COVID pandemic stretches into the fall, community college adjuncts have been hit especially hard by the decline in student enrollment, limited support services, and inadequate or even non-existent access to healthcare. The loss of work, loss of insurance benefits, and even the breakdown of personally financed yet essential teaching equipment have been the tragic results.

Article PT campaign part-time faculty
graphical presentation of inequality in healthcare

CFT launches campaign to secure healthcare for part-time faculty
“Adjuncts deserve, at the very least, the basic right of healthcare”

The pandemic has pushed many harsh realities in higher education to the forefront, none more so than the inadequacy of healthcare for part-time faculty. With the cost of an average COVID hospitalization, according to a number of sources, running in excess of $20,000, the financial effects alone on an uninsured part-timer contracting COVID can be devastating. Add a possible uninsured family member or members to the mix, and the reality becomes even more frightening.

Article part-time faculty
California governor's office with the bronze bear statue outside

Governor’s veto of AB 375 disappointing setback in push for increased workload cap
Legislative update for part-time faculty

“Bittersweet” might be the best word to describe CFT’s legislative efforts on behalf of part-time faculty this year, with gains in categorical funding, but a last-minute veto of the union-sponsored bill to raise the teaching cap in a single community college district from 67% to 85% — AB 375.