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Investigation

Gig by Gig At California Community Colleges

Above: Curley Wikkeling-Miller teaches cosmetology at both the Peralta District in Oakland and the Solano District in Fairfield.
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Enrollment drops are costing jobs at California’s community colleges, where part-time adjunct professors are the backbone of the system, which serves about 1.5 million students. Many work semester by semester, sometimes with few or no benefits. EdSource takes a deeper look at this gig economy in education.

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  1. Martina Bromkova 2 months ago2 months ago

    I was once a gig worker in the university system and I can relate to everything mentioned in these articles. The problems described therein are in need of our prompt attention. I hope we can do what is right for our education professionals.

  2. Cardea Concrete 5 months ago5 months ago

    Thank you for your in-depth investigation of the issue.

  3. Alexis Moore 8 months ago8 months ago

    Thank you taking the time to "investigate" part-time faculty issues here. Central to the theme of contingent faculty is the fact that we are expected to thrive in a work environment which does not acknowledge workplace discrimination. Structurally, the system (in CA Community Colleges) in the area of employment is two-tiered: Full-time faculty often work as de facto supervisors and as our collective bargaining agents. A FT instructor, a tenured faculty, means you may move freely … Read More

    Thank you taking the time to “investigate” part-time faculty issues here. Central to the theme of contingent faculty is the fact that we are expected to thrive in a work environment which does not acknowledge workplace discrimination.

    Structurally, the system (in CA Community Colleges) in the area of employment is two-tiered:

    Full-time faculty often work as de facto supervisors and as our collective bargaining agents.

    A FT instructor, a tenured faculty, means you may move freely between being a Chair, a Dean or any other management job and back to teaching, and keep your tenure. FT faculty have many options to increase their earnings and to manage, to lead, to thrive and have a meaningful career – just like anyone else – except adjuncts.

    PT faculty have the exact same qualifications yet we are “temporary employees” paid only for classroom time, in most cases, not for student consultation hours, preparations nor grading. In most cases, PT faculty do not even have health benefits.

    In order to level the playing field:

    We believe in the principle of equal pay for equal work and favor a single salary schedule encompassing all faculty. We also favor a fully pro-rated workload, so that all instructors are recognized for performing the full extend of the job and whose professional dignity is not reduced to “just teaching.” We favor appropriations earmarked to improve part-time faculty pay to minimize the pay differential between full-time and part-time instructors that exists at present.

    We also favor the outright elimination of the workload cap, which has the effect of keeping poor people poor, and the elimination of voluntary full-time faculty overloads in order to protect the jobs of part-time faculty.