“Call them what you will, but these professors have now become the majority of college and university faculty. Their jobs are defined by low pay, limited instructional resources, tenuous employment security, and a complete lack of institutional support for their own research and writing. Contingent faculty has become a subset of the new working poor—the subset with Ph.D.s.”
Massachusetts Contingent Faculty Now Eligible for Earned Sick Time Benefits
Following overwhelming support at the ballot box, new regulations account for educators’ time spent both in and outside the classroom.
BOSTON, MA – For the first time in the Commonwealth’s history, thousands of faculty members at institutions of higher education will be able to care for themselves or a sick loved one without fear of repercussions from their employer. According to new regulations issued by Attorney General Maura Healey, educators will join workers throughout Massachusetts in gaining access to earned sick time beginning today.
“On multiple occasions, I’ve been forced to take my sick child to work with me when she was too ill to be at her own school. I didn’t feel I could cancel my class,” said Bayla Ostrach, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Boston University. “I am relieved to think that I can now stay home, with no repercussions, when my child or I are contagious.”
“The latest vote, organized by a group of the part-time instructors, was conducted over the past two weeks by mail-in ballot.
This time, 108 Bentley adjuncts voted in favor of unionizing and 42 voted against, out of about 220 who were eligible to vote, according to the Service Employees International Union, which over the past two years has run a national campaign to unionize faculty.”
“Over the course of the past year, the country saw many successes in forming adjunct unions. A growing group of dedicated staff and students at Bentley look to build off this success and continue to push for a vote in favor of unionizing.”
Tufts Adjuncts have a Contract! “About 16 percent of Tufts adjuncts, who currently are the lowest paid, will receive a 43 percent raise over three years; another 19 percent of adjuncts, who are currently the highest paid, will receive cost-of-living increases during that span, officials said.”
“The university should be spending more money on professors in our classes and less time concerned with stopping the tide of recent unionizing successes in other schools, such as Tufts and GW. Bentley should be at the forefront of running its own business ethically before it starts preaching to the world about how great it is at teaching it. Investing in its faculty is the best thing the school can do to support students and we should all take a stand to support Adjunct Professor unionization.”
“Adjuncts are referred to as “part-time,’’ but that’s a misnomer. To make a living, adjuncts often work for abysmal pay at several colleges during the same term, without medical or retirement benefits, decent office space, or compensation for attending academic seminars or faculty meetings.”
“Yesterday, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation that will help adjunct faculty access the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF).”
Chomsky: “Meanwhile, the faculty are increasingly reduced to a category of temporary workers who are assured a precarious existence with no path to the tenure track. I have personal acquaintances who are effectively permanent lecturers; they’re not given real faculty status; they have to apply every year so that they can get appointed again. These things shouldn’t be allowed to happen.”
” What started as a short-term solution has turned into an epidemic of part-timers, which universities both depend on and exploit. Father James Keenan, the Founders Professor of Theology at Boston College, is writing a book on whether universities, structured as they are, can be ethical; he devotes an entire chapter to adjuncts, whom he calls “indentured servants.” He says their proliferation gets to the heart of so many problems that universities now face: overspending, cost-cutting, supply and demand, and a big-business mentality that is co- opting the way they educate.”