With the 2023-2024 California Legislative Session beginning, the
CFT will be engaging in a new environment at the state Capitol.
With several education champions reaching their term limits, and
a large sector of the legislative staff turning over, the
Legislative Department will be focusing on building new
relationships with newly-elected legislators and their
California community college adjuncts saw the single greatest
gain for part-time faculty ever—$200 million in ongoing annual
funding for part-time faculty healthcare—but felt bitter
disappointment when CFT’s sponsored bill to lift the teaching cap
to 85% of a full-time load died for a second time on Governor
Governor Newsom signed six union bills at the end of September that the CFT successfully lobbied in both houses of the Legislature. The CFT had sponsored or co-sponsored 16 legislative bills alongside several budget proposals in the last year of the 2020-22 legislative session. A majority of these priorities made it to the governor’s desk or were included in the state budget, with only one bill being vetoed by the governor.
This year we won a historic expansion of state funding for part-time community college faculty healthcare, increasing state support from $490,000 to $200 million in ongoing funding.
The funding will enable local community colleges to provide quality, affordable, and accessible healthcare to substantially more part-time faculty. Local unions should now prepare to go to the bargaining table to negotiate the healthcare implementation.
On September 30, Governor Newsom signed the final budget trailer bills sent to him by the Legislature after passing the bills and a “budget junior” on August 31. Budget trailer bills are created by the Committee on Budget to provide technical language for the implementation of fiscal allocations. The budget junior bill includes additional allocations as well as additional items necessary for implementation of some July budget expenditures.
The budget-related bills go into effect immediately. CFT priorities in the budget trailer bills are listed below.
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.
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.
UPDATE: We are disappointed to report
Governor Newsom vetoed AB 1856 on September 25, citing cost
Find his veto message here. This action is now
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.
Governor Newsom and the state Legislature reached agreement on a $235 billion state budget for fiscal year 2022-23, with Proposition 98 funding for K-14 education totaling $35.8 billion more than the previous year’s allocation.
Spending for TK-12 education totals $128.6 billion and provides per pupil funding of $22,893 (including monies from all sources) and $16,993 per pupil from Prop 98. The community college budget totals $13.4 billion (including $12.6 billion in Prop 98 funds) and, significantly, increases the ongoing funding for part-time faculty healthcare by $200 million per year.
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.
Funding for part-time community college faculty healthcare secured
Governor Newsom signed the final state budget on Friday, June 30 after the governor and state legislators reached agreement on the 2022-23 budget over the weekend. The deal includes record levels of funding for public education and the $200 million to support part-time faculty healthcare that CFT has been championing throughout this budget process.
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.
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.
Newsom keeps $200 million in ongoing funding for part-time faculty healthcare
Governor Newsom proposed significant increases for education and a 6.56% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in his revised proposal of the 2022-23 state budget released May 13. Education funding accounts for the majority of state budget expenditures, but the governor also proposes an inflation relief package and monies to combat housing insecurity.
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.”
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
For about three years the University Council-AFT engaged in
protracted negotiations on behalf of lecturers in their unit.
Their aims have always been about fairness — better working
conditions for lecturers and improved learning conditions for
students. Their fight has been about not only winning economic
and contractual gains for members, but gaining professional
respect and recognition for their teaching at the University of
California. Their campaign has been a true member-driven effort,
rooted in years of organizing by the statewide local that
represents both continuing lecturers and librarians, led by their
president, Mia McIver, and a committed negotiations team.
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.