Community College Articles

Overview

Community College

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

Article coronavirus SCFF PT campaign
San Diego student Joshua McCannJim MahlerJames McKeever

Faculty push for the face-to-face classes that students want
In-person college classes improve learning, build campus community, and lifelong connections

Joshua McCann much prefers going to campus for his San Diego Community College District classes. Now in his second year and intending to transfer to a UC and major in political science, McCann says connections on Zoom or in your Canvas inbox can’t compare to being with a person in real life.

McCann goes to campus for three out of his four classes. The other night after his philosophy class, he stayed for office hours with the teacher, and ended up having a two-hour conversation about the class with some of the other students.

Article PT campaign part-time faculty
Part-time faculty on a zoom meeting

Join a campaign kickoff meeting on Zoom — Faculty Healthcare Now!
In phase 2, learn how to secure funding for part-timer healthcare in your community college district

We invite local union leaders, activists, and rank-and-file members to please join us and kick off this phase with faculty power!

In Phase 1 of the Part-Time Faculty Campaign, our collective efforts secured $200 million in ongoing funding for part-time faculty healthcare in the California state budget. Now in Phase 2, we are launching coordinated collective bargaining as members begin to mobilize and bargain in their home districts to secure this funding in contracts or MOUs.

Article PT campaign part-time faculty
raising the percentage of workload

Urge governor to increase workload cap for part-time faculty
Ask Governor Newsom to sign CFT-sponsored bill to raise the cap to 85%!

UPDATE: We are disappointed to report Governor Newsom vetoed AB 1856 on September 25, citing cost concerns. Find his veto message here. This action is now closed.

Please take a moment to urge Governor Newsom to sign AB 1856, which will increase the workload cap available to part-time faculty from 67% up to 85% of a full-time faculty workload in California’s community colleges.

Article PT campaign part-time faculty
Regional Trainings

Join a campaign kickoff meeting this fall — Faculty Healthcare Now!
Local mobilizing and bargaining — learn how to secure funding for part-time healthcare in your community college district

In phase one of the Part-Time Faculty Campaign, our collective efforts secured $200 million in ongoing funding for part-time faculty healthcare in the California state budget. 

Now we are launching phase two — coordinated collective bargaining — as members begin to mobilize and bargain in their home districts to secure this funding locally.

Article PT campaign part-time faculty
FAQ- Part-Time Faculty Healthcare

FAQ: Part-time faculty healthcare, the state budget, and collective bargaining
Quick answers to common questions

Updated July 1, 2022

About half of the California community college districts offer healthcare benefits for part-time faculty; the quality of the benefits is wide ranging with some offering the same benefits package to full- and part-time faculty and some offering very modest stipends to help cover the cost of insurance.

Part-timers and allies lobby legislators for healthcare, pay parity
PHOTO GALLERY
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
PHOTO GALLERY
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
PHOTO GALLERY
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. 

Members holding signs for part-time equityEqual pay for equal work

A “red letter year” for CFT legislation in support of contingent faculty
Healthcare insurance, teaching load, rehire rights, and parity

COVID and the subsequent student enrollment drop during the last two semesters have placed great burdens on contingent faculty, from scrambling to teach remotely to negotiating personal and family challenges to facing reduced assignments and a loss of healthcare benefits.

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

Continued enrollment woes create 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.