Adjunct faculty and lecturers at California College of the Arts are forming a union, and we support their right to organize. These contingent faculty members comprise more than three-quarters of the faculty at CCA, and they work in an institution with systematic inequities. They cannot earn any measure of job security, even after many years of dedicated service. Pay is out of step with the cost of living, and there is a ceiling on opportunity for advancement. Many are not eligible for health or retirement benefits. Such conditions are detrimental to the efforts of faculty to teach effectively, to develop as artists or scholars and to contribute to the intellectual life of the CCA community.
CCA instructors are known for their commitment to students and for their vital contributions to scholarship and the arts in the Bay Area. They are now standing up for dignity and a say in their working conditions. They recognize that forming a union will allow them to achieve pay increases, improved job security, better processes for teaching assignments, fair and transparent evaluations, access to benefits, routes to advancement, and a voice in institutional governance.
The contingent faculty at California College of the Arts are joining in a movement that has brought concrete gains, from pay raises to basic job security provisions, to contingent faculty across the country who have formed unions. Contingents at George Washington University, Montgomery College, American University, and others have found that in standing together, their collective voice has helped to improve both their working conditions and their student learning conditions.