Mission Statement of the Contingent Faculty Issues Committee
The mission of the CFIC is to empower contingent and part-time faculty to improve their working conditions, and in turn improve their students’ learning conditions.
Adjunct Faculty To Take Further Action For Job Security and Pay Equity with State Board
By Jacqui Cain, Vice President for Contingent Faculty, and Enrie Marusya, Union Organizing Representative
Regular readers may recall the action that adjunct faculty took back in October 2021: dozens of adjuncts and their tenure-track peers attended a virtual meeting of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges to present a petition reminding the State Board of their obligations to treat faculty equitably under RCW 28B. Many gave moving testimony about their experiences with loss of work during the pandemic. Since then, we have attended subsequent meetings with the goal of sparking a commitment. These actions included meetings of the entire board and also conversations with some board members.
We’ve made our goals clear to the State Board. They include adding benchmarks to the State’s Best Practices for Part Time Faculty (which you can find on the State Board’s website at https://www.sbctc.edu) of 85% pay parity per credit hour for adjuncts, and moving towards 70% full-to-part-time faculty ratios.
As of yet, the Board hasn’t taken any actions towards our issues. Instead, they are continuing their practice of “informal conversations” with no resulting commitments. We need to make sure they know how the lack of progress on these issues is hurting adjunct faculty. The Contingent Faculty Issues Committee (CFIC) is asking members to prepare for another action at the next State Board meeting on March 30th-31st. Public comment tends to be on Day 2, so stay tuned and mark your calendars!
Connect With Us
Contact us directly
CFIC Chair: Jacqui Cain, Vice President for Contingent Faculty at AFT WA, cfic AT aftwa.org
CFIC Staff Support: Enrie Marusya, Union Organizing Representative, emarusya AT aftwa.org or 206-495-8589
Adjuncts Building Community Virtual Conference 2022 February 25-26: Professional Development Opportunity
The Contingent Faculty Issues Committee is excited to announce this annual conference, hosted by AFT Washington and co-sponsored by Washington Education Association (WEA). Day one will feature Joe Berry and Helena Worthen, co-authors of Power Despite Precarity: Strategies for the Contingent Faculty Movement in Higher Education and a workshop on how to tell the story of your precarity, with a view toward meeting with elected leaders. Day two is professional development focused: SB 5194 has resulted in 200 adjunct-to-full-time faculty position conversions. Workshops will discuss teaching philosophies, diversity statements, and preparing for the interview. No cost for members to register.
Over 100 faculty from Port Angeles to Spokane attended the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges meeting in October to deliver a petition signed by over 900 part- and full-time faculty. AFT WA partnered with WEA to gather signatures, and each of the 34 Community and Technical Colleges were represented. We had a lively presentation featuring rank-and-file contingent faculty who shared their personal experiences of job insecurity exacerbated by COVID-19 and ctcLink; they highlighted their experiences of stress, overwork without additional pay, and financial disruption. The event marked a major step in our statewide Contingent Faculty Issues Committee’s Adjunct Equity Campaign.
A Resolution for improving representation and working conditions
The Contingent Faculty Issues Committee (CFIC) of AFT Washington has been busy in the last six months. In May, the Committee brought forward a resolution at the AFT Washington biennial convention, encouraging locals to increase union membership among contingent/part-time/adjunct faculty, and to better represent said faculty and their needs in union leadership and bargaining. It also committed AFT Washington resources to the cause.
A small but powerful group of about 40 contingent faculty met in late April for our 2021 Adjuncts Building Community Conference. 15 of our higher ed faculty locals in both AFT Washington and Washington Education Association were represented. This is promising, especially in light of how much COVID has devastated our workforce.
Adjunct/Part-time Faculty Working Conditions are Linked to Student Success
A lot of research and energy has gone into understanding what helps students to be successful. Colleges are investing in programs that improve support for students based on the findings. Those things that make students successful are the same things that make faculty successful. It has been shown that there is a direct link between the working conditions of faculty and student success. Yet many teachers are denied even the most basic kinds of support that would make us better able to help our students reach their goals. Download an excellent document written by AFT Seattle President Annette Stofer that outlines the connections between student success and faculty working conditions.
You can read more on the correlation of faculty working conditions and student learning conditions through the annotated bibliography the AFT has put together. Another bibliography, from USCRossier, contains additional research sources.
On Saturday, October 26, adjunct faculty from locals around the Puget Sound area came together at South Seattle College’s Georgetown Campus for AFT Washington’s Adjuncts Building Community Conference. The conference was organized and created by AFT Washington’s Contingent Faculty Issues Committee and co-sponsored by WEA, and AFT Seattle Community Colleges Local 1789. AFT Washington’s president, Karen Strickland, began the conference with an overview of the current state of affairs of adjunct faculty in Washington State.