National Resolution Calling for DOE Study of Adjunct/Contingent Pay and Benefit Inequity

AFT has passed a number of resolutions on the issues over the years proposing solutions specifically to the issue of Academic Contingency many of which have been broad in scope and aspirational.

This resolution, to be submitted by CFT to the 2022 AFT National Convention for consideration, (see below the sign-out) asks for a very specific action to move the ball forward.

In light of the present impasse on moving forward on BBB, the study forces the government to acknowledge and quantify the problem, and having the government's own numbers makes it easier to move legislation when that impasse can be hopefully lifted. The adjunct/contingent issue has already been fully acknowledged in congress, as shown by the 2013 report, "The Just-In-Time Professor." The final sentence of that study, in relation to the problem of schools balancing their budgets "on the backs of adjuncts" called for "Increased budget transparency for institutions of higher education would be a critical step in understanding the nature and necessity of this now-pervasive labor practice and whether and how it may be changed." Such budget transparency can in fact best be driven by the DOE taking up such a study. Further, in light of efforts to address adjunct contingency by the New Deal for Higher Ed and Scholars for a New Deal in Higher Ed Campaigns, such a resolution would be timely. In solidarity, Geoff Johnson AFT-ACC President

National Resolution Calling for DOE Study of Adjunct/Contingent Pay and Benefit Inequity

Submitted by Part-Time Faculty Committee

Whereas, adjunct/contingent faculty comprise 73% of all higher education (ed) faculty (AAUP), which is the majority of US Higher Education (Ed) faculty, and a critical and essential force for learning; and,

Whereas, adjunct/contingent faculty possess the same teaching credentials and teach alongside tenure-track faculty without the benefits tenure-track faculty are given, including: job security, paid livable wages, access to employer healthcare, and a robust retirement plan; and,

Whereas, 41% of adjunct/contingent faculty reported they struggle with job security (1), not knowing whether they have a teaching position only days before the start of a new given term; and,

Whereas, 25% of these faculty rely on some form of public assistance and 40% struggle to meet monthly household needs (2) and,

Whereas, over two-thirds of adjunct/contingent faculty make less than $50,000 per year, and one-third making less than $25,000 per year, which is below the poverty level for a family of four; and,

Whereas, less than one-half of adjunct/contingent faculty have access to employer provided healthcare during a time of a global-nationwide pandemic; and,

Whereas, most adjunct/contingent faculty are over the age of 50 and 37% do not know how they will manage during retirement (3); and,

Whereas, such widespread academic inequity must be called out; and measures taken to address it, and finally,

Whereas, once called out, the appropriate measures to address this inequity, to the fullest extent possible must be engaged,

Be it resolved that CFT forward this resolution calling on AFT to directly request of the US Department of Education to fully investigate, by use of a national study, the plight of adjunct/contingent faculty and the sever inequities of pay and overall benefits they endure as the majority workforce as US Higher Ed faculty and publish the results of said study.

(1) 2019 AFT report "An Army of Temps"

(2) Ibid

(3) Ibid

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