USDA announces revised food groups for adjunct faculty

myplate_white

by Karen Rooothaan

USDA has announced revised food groups for adjunct faculty, and expects reduced health claims as a result.

The USDA announced on Thursday a new revised set of food groups, specially tailored to the nutritional needs of adjunct faculty. “BORP” is the acronym for “Beans, Oatmeal, Ramen, and Potatoes” which are the new recommended foods for adjunct faculty.

“Our figures show these foods will best support the nutritional needs of adjuncts, who usually do not have much office space so therefore must lug heavy bags filled with books and papers, often during long rides on public transportation. Waiting in the cold and carrying heavy loads increase the need for carbohydrates, which are fortunately cheap, given current compensation structures for contingent faculty,” according to the new Department Secretary, Benjamin Fillemup.

The new recommendations have drawn fire from certain advocacy groups because they do not include foods often seen as necessities such as dairy, eggs, meat, fruits, or green vegetables. Fillemup pointed out that many adjunct faculty attend trainings where they are fed food from these groups, often twice in a sixteen week semester. “Compared to what is often fed to reference control groups, such as prisoners of war and refugees, the recommended diets are more than adequate.”

Concerns about the diet on the health of an aging population are also, according to Fillemup, completely unfounded. “This diet will support adequate faculty function up to the age of 65. After that, continued longevity would represent an undue burden on taxpayers.”

L.A.F.F. head assistant loser flunkey with intent to teach (halfwitt) Karen Roothaan, when reached for comment, was unavailable. She is working on a new cookbook featuring the recommended foods, and plans to expand her existing vegetable patch this spring.

COCAL Updates

COCAL logo smallby Joe Berry
joeberry@igc.org

COCAL is the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, a nearly 20 year old network of contingent activists and their organizations that does a conference (now tri national – USA, CAN, MEX) every other year, usually in August. It also sponsors a listserv, called ADJ-L, and has an International Advisory Committee and a website www.cocalinternational.org and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/COCALInternational.


CCSF STRUGGLE NEWS

1. AFT 2121 negotiations update.

2. Arne Duncan, (Sec of Ed) Accreditation, and Barking Dogs


INTERNATIONAL

1. Mexican Labor News and Analysis.

2. TSSU (Teaching Support Staff Union) representing Grads, Sessionals and others are on strike at Simon Fraser U, BC, Canada https://vimeo.com/133523706


UPDATES AND LINKS

1. Can adjuncts be freelancers?

2. Whole bunch of academics wandering around feeling alone.

3. At Florida SW adjunct get pay cuts but full-timers get raises, and from IHE, with quotes from NFM’s Maria Maisto.

4. The adjunct mistake (letter in response to NH college president saying adjuncts are a dime a dozen).

5. United Auto Workers Local 2865, the union representing 13,000 teaching assistants and other student workers throughout the University of California, called for AFL-CIO to end affiliations with police unions.

6. Whittier College (LA, CA) adjunct win first contract (SEIU 721)

From: Kurt Edelman [mailto:kurt.edelman@seiu.org] Sent: Monday, July 27, 2015 4:01 PM
To: Higher Education <highereducation@seiu.org>
Subject: [Higher Ed] Whittier Adjuncts Ratify 1st Contract with 35% average pay increases, improved job security, professional development and more!

All,

Congratulations to Local 721 adjuncts at Whittier College who just ratified their first union contract!
A few highlights of the 3-year pact:

Pay rate:
Goes from $1150/credit hour prior to ratification to $1300/credit hour in fall 2015, $1450 in fall 2016, and $1550/credit hour in fall 2016
This means 3-credit course pay goes from $3450 to $4650 over the life of the agreement
4-credit course pay goes from $4600 to $6200

Course cancellation fee: $300 for courses cancelled within 21 days of 1st class plus pro-rated pay for any classes actually taught

1-year appointments for faculty starting with their 2nd year of service. (had been 1 semester appointments)

Protections on reappointment and evaluation

“Just cause” standard for discipline and dismissal during term of appointment.

Professional Development Fund

Labor Management Committee

Union participation in orientation process

Union rights

Jenita Igwealor was the lead negotiator.

-Kurt

7. Adjunct professors and worker rights.

8. U of Akron (OH) trustees rescind some student fees, announce hundreds of layoffs, and take no questions.  [austerity in action? sounds like Greece before the election, no?]

9. Excellent blog by our colleague Tiffany Kraft on adjunct labor, learning conditions and affordable education. [Very good piece, but I am biased since she quotes me.]

10. Remaking the university blog: academic freedom among some very serious people.

11. Colorado contingent faculty fight for equity and video here.

And a good song for equal pay for equal work.


12. What it is like to be homeless and in college.

13. Adjunct professors in middle of workers’ rights issue.

14. Why my fellow adjuncts and I decided to form a union (Comm Coll of Allegheny County, PA)

15. Unions win court ruling that Chicago pension cuts are illegal.

16. When University presidents become robber barons.

17. What if teachers were treated like pro athletes? a You-tube video


18. Cuts at U WI, Eau Claire [Sympathetic article, but not mention of local admin helping with fight against the cuts or helping to build a movement (with the local faculty union that was elected and certified just before Walker gutted public employee bargaining rights in 2011.)]

19. How big corporations are starving our schools of billions of dollars in taxes.

20. Death, drones and shakedown artists, a blog by our colleague Mick Parsons.

21. The battle over education and civil rights.

22. Games universities play.

23. From awfulizing to organizing, from our colleague, Caprice Lawless, at Front Range CC, CO, and Pres of AAUP chapter there. A great collection of organizing tips.

24. Wheaton College (IL) drops student health to avoid contraception and abortion services.

25. U of Phoenix under Federal investigation and more here.

26. Staff of the Guardian (US staff) votes to unionize, CWA.

27. This from one of our Florida colleagues, but may be relevant to others if the corporation mentioned is really national and is consulting with colleges all over about how to essentially cheat adjuncts out of our rightful pensions.

Cathy Burns

July 29 at 6:31pm

Hi fellow adjuncts. I thought I’d share something a little different. Chatting w/ IRSC Human Resources today, I found at the name of the consulting firm that advises Florida colleges and universities to divert that 7.5% of our own paychecks into retirement accounts that in no way can be considered comparable to Federal social security. The name of the firm is TSA Consulting in Walton Beach, Florida. By the way, they seem to be a national company. Their pitch to employers is that TSA “services minimize risk while enhancing employee perception…” If you are an adjunct or temporary employee having your pay diverted by your college employer to avoid paying you Federal social security, find out if TSA is advising your college…and think about how much in Federal social security earnings you may be losing because your college employers do not give you any choice…while they save themselves alot of $ because they don’t have to match the 6.2% required employee social security tax/FICA required. I’ll also post this info to the SFPTFA page…
TSA Consulting Group – Home

28. Why the Friedrichs v CTA case is about much more than teacher unions’ money, it’s about the voice of the working class.

29. (Contingent) Long Beach, CA port truckers seek classification as employees to a avoid wage theft.

30. More on Eduction International’s anti-corporate reform focus at their recent Ottawa congress.

31. Arne Duncan’s new plan for Higher Ed.


NOTE: As noted previously, your COCAL UPDATES editor (Joe Berry) and his spouse/partner/colleague Helena Worthen, are going to teach labor studies in Viet Nam for the fall 2015 Semester. We would like to take some gifts related to the union/workers movement in the US to give to folks there. We are leaving from CA August 14. If any of you would like to have us take union or other movement hats, T-shirts or similar union gifts to VN from your organization as a gesture of solidarity for their labor movement and as a gesture of support for us, please send them to us at 21 San Mateo Road, Berkeley, CA 94707 so that we receive it by August 13, 2015. Unions in Viet Nam are grappling with how to deal with the influx of foreign (capitalist) direct investment there and the need to build local unions that can effectively fight for workers in this new context. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Hall of Shame: Pearl River Community College “WalMart” Contract

That didn’t take long! We have our first entry for the Hall of Shame, Category: “Contracts” submitted by an anonymous adjunct (#1) from Pearl River Community College in Mississippi, via another anonymous adjunct (#2).  O, the layers of secrecy we are forced into. Anyway, we’ll let them do the heavy lifting.


WalSmart Logo-RCBAdjunct #2:

Adjunct friends, a faculty member at Pearl River Community College in Mississippi has informed me that a new page has been added to adjunct contracts this year and it is truly chilling. I hate the way that page was just slipped in as a sudden change without assent required from helpless faculty who lack job security in the first place—an effort to make an insecure job even *less* secure.

I have permission to share this with adjunct friends without attribution. It would be great if this could get into the public realm in some way…any suggestions are welcome and/or if you know someone who could help, feel free to pass this along…

Anonymous Adjunct #1’s comments about his new contract:
We have never had tenure, but we’ve worked each year with an agreement that if we followed the rules and procedures in place we you get a contract for the upcoming year. This year we got an additional page on our contract that nullifies our yearly contract. It makes me laugh because it makes me realize that I’m no more important than a Walmart worker to them. It also frees me to act like a Walmart worker. If I don’t like the new ebooks we are using this year and decide on Friday I want to quit, no problem. I can quit. … [Have] a good laugh over what’s happening to Southern hospitality at our school.


 

Pearl River Community College—New Page Added to Contracts This Year
Employment Letter

I, ____________________________ do hereby acknowledge and understand that neither (Employee Signature) this letter of employment nor the policy manual referenced in paragraph 2 above, create an express or implied contract of employment. I, ____________________________ do hereby acknowledge and understand that my (Employee Signature) employment is “at will” as defined by the laws and statutes of the State of Mississippi, and my employment with PRCC can be terminated by either me or PRCC at any time, for any reason, with or without notice. I, _________________________ do hereby acknowledge that I have read the Policy (Employee Signature) and Procedure Manual referenced in Paragraph 2 above, and understand that any changes made by PRCC with respect to its policies, procedures, or programs can supersede, modify or eliminate any of the policies, procedures or programs outlined in the Policy and Procedure Manual. Accepted employment on this the _____ day of ___________, 2015.

_______________________________________________ Employee Signature ________________________________________________ Date Signed
Approved by:_____________________________________ Roger Knight, Vice President for Business and                                                                                                                     Administrative Services

(And just in case you’d like to meme this, click image to open and enlarge and download)

Pearl River Community College--Hall of Shame

COCAL Updates

COCAL logo smallA combined update post, this time around. COCAL Updates archives here with thanks to Precarity Dispatches for setting them up.


by Joe Berry
joeberry@igc.org

COCAL is the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, a nearly 20 year old network of contingent activists and their organizations that does a conference (now tri national – USA, CAN, MEX) every other year, usually in August. It also sponsors a listserv, called ADJ-L, and has an International Advisory Committee and a website www.cocalinternational.org and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/COCALInternational.


CCSF STRUGGLE NEWS

1. Special (state) Trustee reinstated for another year by State Board of Governors (continuing the disempowerment of the elected local board).

2.  LA Times commentary on ACCJC accountability.

3. Accreditation reform one step closer to reality in Sacramento.

4. Pasadena CC being attacked by ACCJC too.


INTERNATIONAL

1. Just like in US and Canada, good stats on contingents in higher ed are hard to come by in UK.

2. Conflict and protest over imprisoned Iranian teachers at worldwide ed conference in  Ottawa [Education International, the international federation of education unions].

3. For more information on the recently concluded EI congress, see here.

[It does not appear that either higher education in general, or the worldwide contingent majority in particular received much attention, but we await the reports of our Canadian colleagues who were present.]


UPDATES AND LINKS

1. New pro labor children’s book.

2. More on Kishwaukee (IL) adjuncts now unionization (IFT/AFT)

3. College job have become pressure cookers (CHE) and not a mention of the faculty majority, us, who have the most pressure since we have the most insecurity, whew!?

4. Warning— Unpaid political announcement: Labor For Bernie

And their Facebook page

Organizing Meetings

Labor for Bernie is calling on all union members to join and or host house parties and meetings on July 29th.On July 29 events one of our top priorities.You can close your meeting to friends and co-workers only, or you can leave the inviting to the Sanders campaign and it will get the Bernie supporters in your area there.Here is a link to organize a July 29 kick off event.July 29 will be a great evening to recruit more support from union members for Bernie. Download and bring a special Labor for Bernie “sign on” sheet to gather names and email address of more union supporters.  Signed sheets may be returned by email to Labor for Bernie <insert email address>  Download the sign on sheet here.We need to reach our goal of 5,000 union members in support of Sanders before the national AFL-CIO Executive Council considers possible presidential endorsements on July 29. Please urge your co-workers and union friends to sign up online here.

In Solidarity,

Labor for Bernie 2016

PS: If you are on Facebook, be sure to “like” our page here.

Copyright © 2015 Labor for Bernie, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Labor for Bernie
1 Main St.
New York, NY 10019

5. NY state auditors going after adjunct pay/time sheets.

6. Reedley College (Fresno, central CA) needs more FT jobs.

6. More on “volunteer” professors.

7. NYC fast food $15 victory.

8. IL Gov. Rauner trying to reeve all public employes pay and cut pensions again.

9. Contingent LA port truckers still on strike.

10. For-profit sector shrinking [but still huge].

11. How the South drives the low-wage economy.

12. Why I introduced a motion against the Confederate flag at the NEA convention.

13. Trumka: I am not trying to slow Sanders surge.

14. Debate over exclusion of FTNTT from contingent bargaining unit at Barnard (NYC)

15. Support Chicago area faculty trying to unionize – sign petition (Faculty Forward/SEIU).

16. Assoc. of Governing Boards (of higher ed institutions) Pres. on contingent faculty and shared governance. Also good links to some commissioned research about contingent unions in higher ed from Board perspectives.

17. Can auto industry shed its tiers?

18. NPR’s “This American Life” does another puff piece on NUMMI auto plant, and praises their having cut up jobs, just like bosses are trying to do in higher ed. A real hack job, says Labor NotesJane Slaughter (our contingent colleague from Wayne State U).

19. Direct action by IWW makes club owner pay new Seattle minimum wage and back wages for all workers  [a lesson here for us?].

20. Adjuncts at St Louis CC on the way to a union (Adjunct Action/SEIU) with neutrality promise from admin.

21. 5 steps to privatizing everything (and arguments against it).

22. NM field and dairy workers finally get covered by workers’ comp.

23. New DOL decision could mean end to massive wage theft through misclassification as independent contractors.

24. Fight for 15 is trend that can’t be stopped (Greenhouse in Guardian)

25. Alaska news from our colleague Kate Quick:

They’re eliminating programs and departments from philosophy to dental hygiene across the University of Alaska system, and avoiding tenure-lines. The whole state is in a budget crisis.

From the article:

‘Early this year, the university [UAS in Juneau] gave notice to 24 of 35 year-to-year faculty members that their contracts might not be renewed for the coming school year. The notices were rescinded because the budget wasn’t as tight as anticipated, Ciri said.He said the school is being “mindful of not signing multiyear contracts” with most professors in anticipation of tight years to come.’

26. For SF Bay Area readers

Adjunct Action Art in Action Workshops

Our first two sessions were GREAT! We wrote about and shared experiences we have had as college faculty, found commonalities as well as support and friendship. We also developed characters and began making giant puppets to use during actions for our first contract fights and more.

Other union members from SEIU and AFSCME joined us. So did SEIU and CFA organizers. It was a true show of solidarity and it was a fantastic way to spend time together building our community.Join us for the rest of the series! We will continue working on the puppets and making digital images. It will all be included in a social media campaign to kick off the school year. All workshops are free. Materials and food provided. Please RSVP here.

Wednesday July 29th 6-9pm
Digital Media 1 Facilitated by Jessica Beard and Jessica Lawless

Tuesday August 4th 6-9pm
Digital Media 2 Facilitated by Jessica Beard and Jessica Lawless

Again, please RSVP for any and all workshops you plan to attend here.

For questions, contact Jessica Beard at jessicajbeard@gmail.com or Jessica Lawless at Jessica.lawless@seiu1021.org or 510.499.7467

See you there!

Unemployment benefits still a concern? Here is a link  from Glendale Community College that may be helpful for how to answer the questions on the initial forms and what to do if you have an interview or meeting with an EDD case manager.

Summer reading

Feeling August creeping up? You’re not alone. Read this on-target op ed by Roxane Gay from the NYT Sunday Review:“I always have grand plans for myself each summer. I teach, and throughout the academic year, my colleagues and I wax wistful about all the things we’re going to do when the spring semester ends. We will read, and it will be luxurious, because we will be reading for ourselves. We will travel, and not to attend a conference. And, of course, we will diligently prepare for our fall courses. I have, thus far, spent my summer watching an inordinate amount of “Barefoot Contessa” on the Food Network.” Read the rest of it here.

And here’s a good addition to the debates on how to evaluate professors:

“The classroom is not the factory floor; college teaching should not require nor should it tolerate efforts to manage the process from beyond the agency of the teachers themselves. The idea that we need outsiders to watch us teach is the kind of assumption that can transform a teacher into a mere knowledge worker…Teaching is ultimately an intimate affair, regardless of whether it occurs with a single student or a class of 500. Students and teachers engage in a personal dance; we do not teach classes, we teach students.”

Jessica Beard (SFAI)
Lauren Elder (CCA)
Jessica Lawless (SEIU 1021)

Stay up-to-date with the Adjunct Action movement in the Bay Area! Visit our website, like us on Facebook  and follow us on Twitter!

27. How adjunct professors are exploited [some good stats here]

28. How faculty unions help lower costs [hint: not through lower pay for faculty, but greater admin efficiency probably]

29. CA Fed of Teachers Pres Josh Pechthalt’s statement on the AFT endorsement of Hillary Clinton, which he voted against as a member of the AFT Exec and a VP.

30. Portland CC (OR) is now trying to get supposedly erroneous back pay from adjuncts back to 2009.

31. Ohio charter teachers fired for organizing will be reinstated.

32. Rebuttal to IL Valley College president’s statement that that though adjunct pay is small, rewards are big.

33. Prisons and universities two sides of the same coin.

34. Hellenic News of America, Adjunct professors exploited.

35. More on the “volunteer professors” and good quotes from NFM’s Pablo Eisenberg.

36. Who’s against Bernie Sander’s College for All?

37. New piece by Steven Yates, with some of middle section devoted to adjuncts.

38. Petition to DOL, Wage and Hour division, David Weil Director, delivered with 11,297 signatures.

39. Coming to a college or university near you: an unpleasant online education.

40. Tenure track women facing pay and other discrimination [of special interest to us due to the predominance of women in contingent positions, often due to discriminatory hiring patterns].

41. The education budget war in PA, and a Marxist challenge for curriculum.

42. The $17 million dollar university president [and he cut adjunct representation too].

43. Student loan industry parade crashed by student debtors demanding free higher ed

44. A contingent faculty woman describes her date with Donald Trump.

45. In case you missed this good You Tube video from Stacey Patton, a CHE reporter, “Many Adjuncts are Stuck.”

46. Comm Coll system of NH needs help.

47. Malicious reassignment in K-12 in Chicago. Sound familiar?

48. Teaching takes a hit: bad jobs for contingent teaching faculty.

49. Teaching and writing as activism.

50. Ghosts in the Academic Machine.

51. Celebrate Medicare’s 50th Birthday, July 30, 2015

On July 30, 2015, more than 60 cities will celebrate the 50th Birthday of Medicare, our nation’s single payer health care system for seniors, and call on Congress and the public to Protect it, Improve it, and Expand it (PIE) to cover all.

Medicare brought care and dignity to seniors, ended much suffering, extended lives, and lifted millions from poverty.  Medicare desegregated the nation’s hospitals by making payment contingent on ending discrimination.  Medicare shows what federal funding based on sound public policy can do for social justice.

This year’s celebrations call for protecting Medicare from those who would cut it or turn it into a voucher;  improving Medicare for it still omits crucial dental, inadequately covers drugs, and leaves many unable to pay for care;  and expanding Medicare so that it covers all ages with no exceptions.The celebrations call for passage of national single payer legislation, HR 676, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has urged unions to participate in the Medicare celebrations.

The city celebrations are listed here.

Physicians for a National Health Program has announced a national call-in day on July 30, 2015, to urge lawmakers to become co-sponsors of HR 676.  Current HR 676 co-sponsors are here.

You can call your representative at the Capitol Switchboard number, 202-224-3121.

PNHP physicians have appeared in newspapers in many cities advocating an end to private for-profit health insurance by moving to improved Medicare for All.  Many of those Op Eds can be seen here.

In Washington, DC

Also on July 30, 2015, Rep. John Conyers, lead sponsor of H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, will hold a congressional briefing, moderated by veteran journalist Bill Moyers, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2237.

Watch it below:

For further details contact Congressman Conyers’ Legislative Assistant, Erik Sperling at erik.sperling@mail.house.gov. At 9:30 on the morning of July 30, National Nurses United and others will hold a “Medicare turns 50” rally in Upper Senate Park, across Constitution Avenue from the Capitol followed by congressional lobbying.  Further details are here.  Join an event near you!
Issued by:

All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care–HR 676
c/o Nurses Professional Organization (NPO)
1169 Eastern Parkway, Suite 2218
Louisville, KY 40217
(502) 636 1551
7/26/15

Email: nursenpo@aol.com
http://unionsforsinglepayer.org
https://www.facebook.com/unionsforsinglepayer


NOTE: As noted previously, your COCAL UPDATES editor (Joe Berry) and his spouse/partner/colleague Helena Worthen, are going to teach labor studies in Viet Nam for the fall 2015 Semester. We would like to take some gifts related to the union/workers movement in the US to give to folks there. We are leaving from CA August 14. If any of you would like to have us take union or other movement hats, T-shirts or similar union gifts to VN from your organization as a gesture of solidarity for their labor movement and as a gesture of support for us, please send them to us at 21 San Mateo Road, Berkeley, CA 94707 so that we receive it by August 13, 2015. Unions in Viet Nam are grappling with how to deal with the influx of foreign (capitalist) direct investment there and the need to build local unions that can effectively fight for workers in this new context. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Activism–Cuyahoga Community College

Adjuncts organize at the Tri-C JazzFest in Cleveland

Adjuncts organize at the Tri-C JazzFest in Cleveland

by David B. Wilder

Every year Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) sponsors JazzFest, an annual nationally renowned 3-day summer music festival held in Cleveland’s Playhouse Square.

Tri-C adjuncts, who have formed the Tri-C Adjunct Faculty Association, a campus organization affiliated with OPTFA (Ohio Part-Time Faculty Association), decided to bring our calls for equity to the public attending the festival this year. We discussed our plans with officers of the AFL-CIO North Shore Federation of Labor, who were very encouraging. The North Shore Federation of Labor voted on a resolution supporting our ongoing efforts last October. We received union help in producing materials.

We distributed leaflets with the headline “Jazz Up Higher Ed with Adjunct Equity” along with stickers for attendees to wear. The leaflet asked for support by tweeting #RespectTriCAdjuncts.

We also circulated a petition calling for Tri-C to recognize our rights to equitable pay and benefits, a dignified work environment and the freedom to form unions free from interference or retaliation. We found a very receptive public with many eager to sign—including public school teachers, current and former students, adjuncts from other colleges, and other supporters of worker’s rights. On the last evening we were told to leave the festival area by police on orders from the Tri-C festival organizers. Undaunted, we resumed our activity from a distance. We collected over 200 signatures in 3 days.

We will continue to circulate our public petition. One plan is to seek invitations to speak at local union meetings throughout the Cleveland area, asking the union sisters and brothers to support our cause.


David B. Wilder is co-chair of OPTFA and teaches art and art history at Cuyahoga Community College and John Carroll University.

COCAL Updates

COCAL logo smallby Joe Berry
joeberry@igc.org

COCAL is the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, a nearly 20 year old network of contingent activists and their organizations that does a conference (now tri national – USA, CAN, MEX) every other year, usually in August. It also sponsors a listserv, called ADJ-L, and has an International Advisory Committee and a website www.cocalinternational.org and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/COCALInternational.


INTERNATIONAL

1. Grocery workers win more stable and predictable scheduling in Toronto with UNIFOR union.


UPDATES AND LINKS

1. More on protest of AFT’s Clinton endorsement by AFT members and more on this and related topics from Labor Notes

On Jul 18, 2015, at 8:52 AM, Jeff wrote:

Here are the justifications posted for the endorsement of Hillary. It seems to me that it was made based on a roundabout combination of responses to various questions, rather than a direct vote of the membership.

There is also a comparison chart of candidates from the NYSUT (the New York State affiliate):

The other materials indicate that Hillary had a huge margin over Sanders and the other two Democratic candidates barely showed up. However, since they have not really started campaigning, that is not surprising.

2. Some pieces on the youth today (our students)

3. Job opening for labor educator, FTNTT, Rutgers U.

LEARN Director (Labor Education and Research Now)
School of Management and Labor Relations
Labor Studies and Employment Relations Department

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations, is seeking an instructor, assistant professor of professional practice, associate professor of professional practice, or professor of professional practice.  This is a non-tenure track faculty position in charge of coordinating, expanding, and reanimating our labor extension programs in New Jersey and regionally under the direction of the EPE Director of Labor and Community Education.  The successful candidate will have experience designing, developing and recruiting for labor education programs, especially programs targeted at a leadership level.  We are interested in someone who can work with faculty and labor leaders to develop a mix of leadership programs and who can reshape and recruit for our Union Leadership Academy, certificate programs and other New Jersey-based offerings.  This position is also expected to contribute to work of our new Center for the Innovation in Worker Organization.

Candidates must have extensive experience in the labor movement and in labor education and should possess at least some college along with equivalent experience equal to a master’s degree in a related field, although a terminal degree is preferred.   A record of scholarly publication or applied research is not required.  Interested candidates should send a letter of application detailing qualifications, a vita, and contact information for three references.  Applications should be submitted by August 6, 2015 to Professor Marilyn Sneiderman, Director of Labor and Community Education at the School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University, 50 Labor Center Way, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 (Msneiderman@work.rutgers.edu), however the position will remain open until filled.
Salary and benefits are competitive and commensurate with qualifications.

Rutgers University is an AA/EEO/ADA Employer.

Women and minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.Marilyn Sneiderman, Professor
Director of Labor and Community Education at the School of Management and Labor Relations
Director, Center for Innovation in Worker Organization
Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations
(202)330-1373
Msneiderman@work.rutgers.edu

4. New initiative in CA would gut retirement benefits for millions of present public workers.

5. From Jim Hightower, For Profit colleges getting rich off tax money and student debt.

6. Charter schools’ worst nightmare: a pro-union movement may change charters forever.

7. Barnard College agrees to drop NLRB challenges to adjunct unionization drive there (UAW).

8. National Center for the Study of CB in HE and the Prof. E-Note for July (lots of good stuff).

9. Corinthian Colleges (recently bankrupt) donated $27,000 to boost Rubio in GOP primary campaign.

10. Another report from WI, but this tenured professor’s blog never even mentions the fact that she is part of a privileged minority among the faculty.

11. AAUP Academe Blog has an excellent post by a U of CA prof on why faculty (and by extension assumedly the AAUP itself) should change our line on how we defend tenure, job security for faculty generally, and how it should not be seen as a special needed privilege but rather the right of all workers. That is where we should look for our allies, not administrators. Some of us have been trying to push this line for years. The contingent faculty movement should be out front in defending this perspective, I think. (ed. JB).

12. SF BAy area adjunct event upcoming

Here is a great way to get to know your colleagues across the Bay Area!

Adjunct Action ART IN ACTION

July 21- August 4

Attend the summer workshop series for contingent faculty! We are going to tell their stories visually and on our own terms. Several of us active in forming our unions thought it would a great idea to get together for something other than a meeting! Through story-telling, writing, puppet making and digital arts we will complicate our collective experiences and highlight the creative ways we are organizing against our current labor conditions in higher education. Elements of what we create will be a part of a social media campaign to launch the new school year.

Attend the summer workshop series for contingent faculty! We are going to tell their stories visually and on our own terms. Several of us active in forming our unions thought it would a great idea to get together for something other than a meeting! Through story-telling, writing, puppet making and digital arts we will complicate our collective experiences and highlight the creative ways we are organizing against our current labor conditions in higher education. Elements of what we create will be a part of a social media campaign to launch the new school year.

We put together this series in collaboration with the Center for Digital Storytelling because it’s time to change the narrative of the disempowered adjunct professor. Adjunct faculty are taking the reins of an intersectional 21st century labor movement and ensuring a different future for themselves and their students.

The story telling workshop will be the jumping off point for all the others. Attend this one and then choose the others you’d like to attend. Come to the first one, come to them all!

Workshops are free. Food and materials provided. All workshops will be held at SEIU 1021, 447 29th St., Oakland. Please click here to RSVP!

Workshop 1 Tuesday July 21st 6-9pm
Storytelling facilitated by Andrea Spaget from the Center for Digital Storytelling

Workshop 2 Wednesday July 22nd, 6-9pm
Puppet Making 1 Facilitated by Lauren Elder

Workshop 3 Tuesday July 28th 6-9pm
Puppet Making 2 Facilitated by Lauren Elder

Workshop 4 Wednesday July 29th 6-9pm
Digital Media 1 Facilitated by Jessica Beard and Jessica Lawless

Workshop 5 Tuesday August 4th 6-9pm
Digital Media 2 Facilitated by Jessica Beard and Jessica Lawless

Again, please RSVP for any and all workshops you plan to attend here.

For questions, contact Jessica Beard at jessicajbeard@gmail.com or Jessica Lawless at Jessica.lawless@seiu1021.org or 510.499.7467.

See you there!

13. Boots Riley (hip-hopper, poet, screenwriter, and leader of Occupy Oakland) says if you want higher wage, be prepared to strike for it.

14. Higher ed organizer job, SEIU, based in VT/Upstate NY.

15. You-tube video of Open University of the Left (Chicago) talk by Earl Silbar on “The Precariat = Precarious +Proletariat.” Silbar was a leader and a founder of the contingent adult educators’ union in Chicago City Colleges (AFSCME) for many years and was at the conference that founded Chicago COCAL in 2001. He is one of the interviewees featured, under his own name, in Reclaiming the Ivory Tower.

16. “Time is Political” [A very good article on work time and scheduling by labor educator Stephanie Luce at CUNY. Much relevant to contingent faculty, with our contingent schedules.]

17. Point Park U (Pittsburgh, PA) drops NLRB objections to FT faculty unionization by TNG/CWA. Altered Yeshiva ruling criteria seems to be holding. (This does not directly impact the effort by USW to organize the adjuncts at Point Park.)

18. Kishwaukee College (IL) adjuncts unionize (over 100) with IFT/AFT. FTers there were already in an IFT/AFT local.

19. Updated website, with some great sticker designs, at Adjunct Underground (in LA), who also do a regular adjunct oriented radio show available on webcast as well as broadcast in LA.


NOTE: As noted previously, your COCAL UPDATES editor (Joe Berry) and his spouse/partner/colleague Helena Worthen, are going to teach labor studies in Viet Nam for the fall 2015 Semester. We would like to take some gifts related to the union/workers movement in the US to give to folks there. We are leaving from CA August 14. If any of you would like to have us take union or other movement hats, T-shirts or similar union gifts to VN from your organization as a gesture of solidarity for their labor movement and as a gesture of support for us, please send them to us at 21 San Mateo Road, Berkeley, CA 94707 so that we receive it by August 13, 2015. Unions in Viet Nam are grappling with how to deal with the influx of foreign (capitalist) direct investment there and the need to build local unions that can effectively fight for workers in this new context. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

 

Adjuncts, Blogs and the DOL

or The Curious Coincidence of the Blog on July 20  (with apologies to Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime)

For about 24 hours, earlier this week, many members of the higher ed community across the country mistakenly thought that the Department of Labor (DOL) had publicly declared that colleges and universities in the United States would be investigated for violations of federal employment law in the employment of adjunct and contingent faculty.

A post on the AAUP’s blog Academe quoted a July 15 DOL blog post by David Weil, director of the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the DOL, in which Weil explains the new DOL guidance to help employers understand employee misclassification and why it harms affected workers. However, it turned out that the indictment of higher education for its treatment of adjuncts was not official DOL policy, but rather perceptive commentary that contingent faculty working conditions sure seem to violate federal labor law.

Marty Kich, a tenured professor at Wright State University and the blogger who wrote the misattributed commentary preceding the Weil excerpt, observes in his Academe blog post that he has “no idea whether the Department of Labor guidelines on the misclassification of employees as ‘independent contractors’ would in any way be legally applicable to the exploitation of adjunct faculty, but no one reading those guidelines can fail to recognize that the exploitation of those faculty is the result of the same mindset that has contrived the misclassification.”

Last year, contingent faculty activist (and now NFMF Board member) Lee Kottner had the same thought when reading about the appointment of Weil, who had been professor of economics and the Peter and Deborah Wexler Professor of Management at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, and served as co-director of the Transparency Policy Project at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She drafted a petition addressed to Weil asking that the Wage and Hour Division investigate higher education for violations of FLSA, secured co-sponsors (I was one), and over the last year has collected 11,296 signatures. The petition has been reported on at Inside Higher EdPBSUSA Today, and even the blog of Harvard University Press, publisher of Weil’s book The Fissured Workplace.

In a strange coincidence, at probably the same time that the Academe blog post was being published Monday morning, I was attending a talk by Dr. Weil at the Advocates Day program of the Association of Labor Relations Agencies annual conference in Minneapolis. I got a chance to ask about the very topic that, unbeknownst to either of us, Marty Kich was pondering online.

Dr. Weil spoke on the topic of “The Fissured Workplace: Consequences for Employers and Workers.” He addressed (as described in the program summary) “the increasingly complex, diffuse, and precarious employment relationships that now characterize many low-wage jobs” and discussed the history of how the workplace has become “fissured” (I would compare this to what many scholars have described as the “unbundling” of higher ed faculty work). He also discussed how the Wage and Hour Division has approached protecting workers’ rights in this context, including through enforcement strategies to address violations and “increased outreach to workers and their advocates to explain their rights and [to] employers to explain their responsibilities under federal labor law.”

DOL Constraints

Dr. Weil noted that his department has limited resources and only about 1500 investigators to handle millions of complaints that come in every year. Therefore they have to marshal those resources strategically, trying to identify which sectors to target based in part on the extent and pattern of alleged violations, but also noting that often the sectors with the most egregious violations are the ones in which the employees feel least safe about speaking out.

The DOL’s recent clarification of the difference between Independent Contractor and Employee, which is the best-known employee misclassification issue, is meant to ensure that employers are fulfilling their obligations and that workers are protected under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). When workers are misclassified as Independent Contractors, they do not have access to many important protections, including unemployment compensation, overtime pay, and access to Public Student Loan Forgiveness. As Weil explains in the DOL blog, “Misclassification also generates substantial losses to the federal government and state governments in the form of lower tax revenues, as well as to state unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation funds. It forces workers to pay the entirety of their payroll (FICA) tax. It also tips the scales against all of the employers who play by the rules and undermines the economy.”

Significantly, adjunct faculty are rarely misclassified as Independent Contractors anymore. About ten years ago, a series of legal decisions essentially settled the question on the side of employee status, to adjuncts’ benefit. (Adjuncts who may currently be misclassified as Independent Contractors can request a determination by the IRS by filing Form SS-8.) The real misclassification issue for adjuncts now is around exempt (salaried) vs. non-exempt (hourly) status, and around further exceptions within exempt status. With the changes to adjunct employment practices wrought by institutions’ efforts to avoid the Employer Mandate of the ACA, adjuncts are now increasingly being treated like hourly employees without having the associated benefits of that status, like access to overtime pay and protection from wage theft. So adjuncts are caught between a rock and a hard place: receiving only a few of the necessary protections of exempt status (like recognition of professional autonomy), none of the protections of non-exempt status, and all of the vulnerabilities of both. (More on this problem in Part 2 of this post.)

During the public Q&A after Dr. Weil’s talk, I was able to introduce myself and NFM and to ask the central question of the petition: how can WHD address the problem of contingent faculty—especially part-timers and those with difficult access to collective bargaining—falling through the cracks of the FLSA and experiencing what are essentially, if not technically, violations of the FLSA? I asked what, in addition to organizing and collective bargaining, contingent faculty can do to help WHD address this problem.

Dr. Weil responded that the answer is “embedded in the question.” The DOL is bound by the statutory constraints of the law, he explained, so organizations like NFM are essential to helping DOL and the public understand when and why laws are not working, and to ensuring that necessary changes take place.

One Issue, Many Fronts

I took Dr. Weil’s response as an acknowledgment of the importance of the education, advocacy, and organizing in which NFM and other groups and activists engage. Only we can explain clearly how existing labor law’s treatment of adjunct and contingent faculty is based on faulty understanding of, and incorrect assumptions about, our work, who we are as workers, and the way that the sector has changed over the last forty years. We have to organize ourselves even more effectively to make sure our voices are heard, and we have to tell our leaders precisely what changes we want to see in existing legislation, and what new legislation might be necessary.

In January 2013 I made this point to the MLA in my presentation on the presidential panel, calling on the MLA, as a disciplinary organization which focuses on language, to help correct the language that is used to prevent contingent faculty from gaining access to legal rights and protection in laws like the FLSA. Similarly, in November 2014, Adjunct Action examined potential wage and hour violations in contingent faculty work and called for changes to federal labor law in its publication Crisis at the Boiling Point. And of course, 11,296 people who signed Lee’s petition have specifically asked for DOL’s help in figuring out how both the letter and the spirit of the law are currently being violated.

What Next?

Here’s what NFM will do. In coalition with other groups and activists, we will follow up with the DOL regarding contingent faculty and FLSA. We would like to find out for sure what is possible to address through FLSA and what cannot be done without enacting statutory changes. Where statutory changes are needed, we will continue educating and engaging with legislators, agencies, and advocates. And in the meantime we will continue to support contingent faculty organizing and advocacy at all levels.

This will not be the first time we have engaged with federal agencies on issues central to contingent faculty working conditions. For those who may not be aware, here are two other DOL-related projects NFM has been working on:

  • Leading the coalition of unions and organizations that is requesting a new guidance letter from DOL to clarify to the states that “reasonable assurance of continued employment”—the standard that prevents contingent faculty from collecting the unemployment compensation that is their due—does NOT in fact apply to contingent faculty and that therefore contingent faculty should not be denied this basic right. (See more here.)
  • Educating faculty about the right to unemployment compensation as long as contingent faculty do not have authentic contracts; supporting them in the application process and collecting data about the inconsistent judgments that take place around the country and result in contingent faculty experiencing exacerbated periods of economic hardship during the summer and winter breaks. (See the Unemployment for Adjuncts website.
  • Correcting Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) public information about the nature of higher education faculty work.

In 2013 we also spoke to the IRS about proposed rule changes to the section of the ACA known as the Employer Mandate. Working with unions and activists, we helped stop the juggernaut of college and university lobbyists who might otherwise have forced through a bright line standard for defining the average adjunct work week by crediting only one hour of out-of-class work for every hour an adjunct spends in class. While the final rules result was not ideal, it does present an opportunity for further correction of the way that adjunct faculty work is understood in federal law. (And has already been bargained higher in some contracts in Massachusetts.)

Similarly, we have called on the Department of Education to require disclosure of adjunct faculty numbers and working conditions to potential students and the public, something which will be much easier if funding is restored to the National Center for Education Statistics so that it can collect accurate information about the majority of the faculty. We continue to be in touch with the House Education and Workforce Committee about these and other topics. (I was asked to testify on adjunct working conditions before this committee in November 2013, and this led to the production of the report “The Just-in-Time Professor.”)

In our next post on this topic, we will discuss some of the specifics of FLSA and some ideas for how to amend it so that its protections are more properly extended to adjunct and contingent faculty.

Postscript: Dr. Weil had to leave the conference immediately after his talk, so I could not deliver Lee’s petition to him personally; however I was able to give it to one of his colleagues to pass on to him.

–Maria Maisto

Please watch our web siteFacebook and Twitter (@NewFacMajority) for continuing information. And please consider supporting NFM’s work by becoming a member or by making a fully tax-deductible donation to the NFM Foundation.