As you are likely already aware, the first-ever National Adjunct Walkout Day will take place on Wed., Feb. 25. (NAWD).
Thousands of adjunct labor activists across the country have been mobilizing for the event since it was proposed last fall. It is not sponsored by any particular group, but the avalanche of discussion about it on social media underscores the appeal of the event.
Labor laws differ from state to state, of course. Here in Colorado, because of the extremely precarious employment of 75% of the CCCS' working faculty (adjuncts), actually walking out could cost instructors our jobs. Therefore, we caution our colleagues to consider other ways to bring visibility to the problem.
We are witnessing the destruction of the profession of teaching in community colleges, even while the value of our teaching has the nation's attention with President Obama's recent call for two years of free community college coursework.
What the public does not know is that K12 teachers are protected by powerful unions, while contingents teaching in research universities have a tenure-track system that offers some protections and better wages. Colorado's community college teachers -- those teaching Colorado's most disadvantaged students -- have neither unions nor the tenure track system. We have no job protections whatsoever and earn poverty-level wages. CCCS lobbyists and college presidents claim they "are only paying he going rate" for community college teachers, while never revealing that this "going rate" is a price-fixing scheme developed by their own lobbying groups such as the AACC and CUPA-HR. In the CCCS, for example, adjuncts teaching transfer-level courses earn a quarter of what their counterparts teaching the same courses earn at the four-year schools.
What CCCS students do not realize is that only a fraction of their tuition and CCCS revenues are used for instruction. Most is going to handsome salaries for administrators and the building of offices for more administratrators, fitness centers, parking lots, and coffee bars.
We may not be able to walk out due to Colorado law prohibiting that type of demonstration by our category of worker. However, what are your ideas for speaking out and making the issue known? Share them on the National Adjunct Walkout Day Facebook page: