Part-Timer

Overview

Part-Timer

Part-Timer promotes the interests of part-time faculty working in the California community colleges. It contains news about the movement to establish better conditions of employment for adjunct faculty, both in California and North America. Browse stories by date here or by index here.​​

Part-Timer is published twice during the academic year, in the fall and in the spring. The newsletter is emailed to part-time faculty. We welcome unsolicited articles, letters, and story ideas. Please send letters, submissions, or other inquiries to Jane Hundertmark, CFT Publications Director.

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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 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.

Article Pay parity part-time faculty

How Peralta won the first pay parity in CA community colleges
San Mateo Federation campaign makes big strides toward parity

Equal pay for equal work. It’s a simple idea, but one that has remained all but elusive for part-time faculty, so much so that some have decried the quest for it as a Sisyphean effort. However, the recent gains made by the Peralta Federation of Teachers shows that parity is possible.

Now, Peralta pays its adjuncts at the same hourly rate for teaching and office hours as its full-time faculty — a first in the California Community College system.

Article coronavirus part-time faculty

Adjuncts and their unions fight on in the face of COVID
Enrollment decline, lost classes, adjunct relief fund

While the number of COVID cases are shrinking, and the vaccination rate increasing, the effects of the pandemic continue, with adjuncts having been hit particularly hard, as despite the heroic efforts of faculty to provide remote and online instruction, California community college enrollment has dropped systemwide by 11 to 12% since last fall, according to Edsource.

Article Pay parity part-time faculty

CFT seeks 85% adjunct teaching load, statewide path to pay parity
Union-sponsored legislation tackles long-standing adjunct issues

After last year’s heavily pandemic-impacted legislative session reduced the number of bills signed to its lowest number since 1967, the CFT is again taking up the adjunct cause on bills directed towards raising the part-time percentage cap on teaching in a single district, and in developing a path towards part-time/full-time pay parity.

Article CFT Convention part-time faculty

Healthcare, transferable training top adjunct priorities at CFT Convention
Delegates resolve to address timely adjunct issues

At this year’s virtual CFT Convention held March 26-27, the Part-Time Faculty Committee sponsored two resolutions reflective of both the longstanding and new problems beginning to emerge in the wake of the pandemic which has impacted adjunct health and training.

Article part-time faculty

Adjuncts at the table to win a New Deal for Higher Education
National campaign calls for sea change in higher ed

While the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified longstanding societal inequities in America, public higher education was already in a state of crisis, from the staggering costs of college, to the lack of access and support for lower income students, Black, indigenous, and people of color, the deteriorating, or clear lack of infrastructure, the reciprocal increase in highly paid administrative positions, and last but not least, decrease in full-time tenure track positions.

Peralta reaches 100 percent pay parity; locals win distance education support
From course conversion stipends to health benefits extensions

In spite of the pandemic, a number of local unions won big gains for adjuncts, from parity pay to distance education, to the preservation of healthcare for adjuncts with reduced loads. These wins are especially significant at this time in which revenues are falling and concerns over future budgets made many administrators skittish to bargain.

Article AFT Shared governance part-time faculty

Contingent faculty team up, pass national shared governance policy
AFT Convention adopts resolution crafted by UC and community college faculty

While the COVID-19 pandemic meant that this summer’s AFT Convention had to go virtual, and in turn, resulted in format changes which made schedules tighter, and the work of those attending harder in many respects, one of the great achievements for CFT was the passage of a resolution calling for the right of contingent faculty to participate in shared governance.

Article Elections 2020 Prop 15

Prop 15: It’s not just about closing corporate tax loopholes
It’s about protecting adjunct faculty too!

California is at an educational crossroads made dire by the coronavirus pandemic, and Proposition 15 is an important step in getting California back on the right track.

COVID-19 has not only ravaged the health and lives of countless Californians — it has also ravaged state revenues, with Governor Newsom himself acknowledging overall state revenue declines being in the “tens of billions.”

Article Workers Compensation student debt coronavirus

Legislative gains and losses for adjuncts in a time of COVID
Union scores expanded Workers’ Comp support, Student Borrower Bill of Rights

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted public education, so too did it impact the California Legislature and CFT’s legislative goals.

What would normally have been a rigorous six-month period to discuss the state budget and legislation, was reduced to two virtual sessions, one running from May 4 to June 19, and the other from July 27 to August 31. This forced the Legislature, which was slated to hear and discuss some 2,390 bills, to shelve consideration of any bills not deemed related to the pandemic, wildfires, and affordable housing.

Article part-time faculty coronavirus AFT

The patient is on the table — Higher Education in America is sick
Opinion

By Geoff Johnson, AFT Guild, San Diego and Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community Colleges

Higher education in America is sick. Its classrooms and campuses have been largely shuttered, save but for students taking lab courses, or practicums, ironically in hospitals. Students and instructors are now confined to the domains of their computers and laptop screens in the educational netherworlds of Zoom or Cranium. With the exception of online instruction developed prior to the crisis, what is being delivered, more so than taught, is a curriculum of coping under the duress of the coronavirus pandemic.

College students staying positive through the pandemic
Union presidents surveys students for newspaper column

By Mark James Miller, Part-Time Faculty Association of Allan Hancock College

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought its own unique challenges to every facet of society. Everyone has been seriously impacted by the virus, and students in higher education are no exception.

Nationwide, students are delaying their education until the pandemic is over and colleges return to the traditional classroom approach instead of the online model being used in its place. Some are simply uncomfortable with online learning, and others are fearful that the education they receive remotely is not of the same quality as what they get in the classroom with the instructor present.

Allan Hancock College teachers and the ‘new normal’
Union presidents surveys part-time faculty for newspaper column

By Mark James Miller, Part-Time Faculty Association of Allan Hancock College

“I miss the face-to-face contact.”

“Something is missing.”

“I miss being with my students.”

As Hancock College’s part-time instructors adapt to the “new normal” brought on by the coronavirus, one theme is constant: With all classes now being taught remotely, they miss being in the classroom with their students.

Adjunct faculty leaders organize, meet challenges of pandemic
The union picture — now and in the months ahead

The ongoing COVID-19 experience for part-time instructors has demonstrated their great collective strength and resiliency, despite limited pay, benefits, job security, and often minimal support.

Several local union leaders — who are part-time faculty — report that beyond the initially hectic and at times frenzied process of transitioning to remote instruction and services, faculty have more or less still been able to teach a semblance of their face-to-face course.