It’s time for Bentley to stop the bullying and start bargaining with adjunct faculty
Given our contribution to the university, we should not be treated as cheap, disposable academic labor. We made this point clear in our contract negotiation session Wednesday – and asserted that it is time for the Bentley administration to stop bullying and start bargaining in good faith.
The Vital Role We Play
At Bentley, adjunct faculty are hired to meet critical educational and staffing needs.We often teach courses that full-time faculty don’t teach. We contribute a unique perspective based on our professional experience and academic knowledge, which expands departmental offerings. We also teach many of the required introductory courses, giving tenured and tenure-track faculty more opportunity to focus on scholarship and teaching upper-level and graduate courses.
In fact, we teach one out of four courses to Bentley students. Our courses and expertise are vital to the educational mission of the university.
Changing the Paradigm
Our contract proposals aim to change the current paradigm and force the administration to face how it views the role of adjuncts in the university. Most recently, we proposed contract language that increases job security with one-year contracts and course guarantees – as well as a compensation proposal that, over three years, gets pay per course equal to full-time lecturers. Our proposal would also secure benefits equal to that of other part-time employees at the university.
These proposals challenge the administration to decide whether adjuncts are in fact filling an instructional staffing need, or are merely a way to reduce the cost of instruction.
Disappointing Response from the Administration
Instead of offering constructive counter proposals, the Bentley administration responded in two disappointing ways:
- First, they warned us that if they paid adjuncts fairly and made the positions more stable, they may have less of a need for us because they would lose all the operational financial advantages of having adjuncts in the first place.
- Second, they questioned our teaching ability and threatened that too many adjuncts survived not because of excellent teaching, but through the inertia and laziness of department chairs who don’t evaluate teaching performance.
Threats Won’t Be Tolerated
We were clear in our response. As long as Bentley continues to rely on adjunct faculty, adjuncts should have more stable, predictable jobs and our teaching should be paid equally to other teaching faculty.
Threats won’t be tolerated, and we hope you’ll join us at an upcoming negotiation session to drive this point home. It is time that the Bentley administration stops bullying and starts bargaining!