Watch the video to hear non-tenure track faculty from across California give their take on unionization and its benefits not just for contingent faculty, but also for students and higher education as a whole in the U.S.
Faculty working conditions are student learning conditions. Whether we are called "adjunct professor," "lecturer," "visiting faculty" or "part-time faculty," we have a few very important things in common: We are all contingent faculty; we are the majority of our schools' faculty; we are committed to the success of our students, our institutions and the future of higher education in this country; and we are the heart and soul of our institutions.
Too long we have remained nameless and voiceless in the face of skyrocketing tuition, fees and crippling student debt, as top-level administrators, often with little to no background in education, make decisions that run counter to the best interests of our students and their education. When we have no assurance of continued employment from one semester to the next, it can be more than a little intimidating to challenge those decisions--and all too often, there is no one willing to listen to or consider our input.
The great news is that when we join forces and form a union, administration is obliged to listen to us and to take our input into serious consideration--not just pay lip service. We can collaborate with administration, tenure-line faculty and each other to find the best solutions for the biggest challenges facing our students, institutions and higher education.