Whether they are referred to as “adjuncts,” “part-timers” or “contingent faculty,” those faculty members who are not full-time faculty in AFT 1521 know how to make their voices heard.
With fair treatment and health care benefits among their goals, approximately 17 Guild members turned up at the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) Part-Time Faculty Conference held May 1-2 in Sacramento. The attendees included members from all nine LACCD campuses and was the largest turnout of any faculty union in the state. Guild Political Director Natalina Monteiro and Organizer Seo Yun Son also attended.
“Our group’s presence was definitely felt,” said Son, who noted that Monteiro represented AFT 1521 virtually at the CFT panel on recent political wins at a local level.
The conference – held during the May Day weekend – was an opportunity for the Guild’s adjuncts to push their position on several key issues. Adjuncts are lobbying to make sure that $200 million earmarked for health care for part-time faculty remains in the final approved version of Governor Newsom’s budget.
In addition, Local 1521 is supporting AB 1752 (Santiago), which would create parity for the part-time faculty of California Community Colleges “by requiring districts to adopt terms of compensation for part-time faculty of at least the same ratio to the full-time faculty for comparable duties.” The Guild is also backing AB 1856 (Medina), which would increase the teaching cap for adjunct faculty.
During the conference, CFT released the results of its survey of part-time faculty members statewide and hosted workshops such as “Healthcare Bargaining: Tools, Strategy and Coordination” and “Organizing: Building Local Union Power.”
Since the conference was held in Sacramento, attendees also had direct access to legislators who are working on these issues. The event culminated with the launch of Lobby Day, where members had direct access to legislators in Sacramento working on these issues.
“Every single one of our members had the opportunity to sit down either with an assembly member or staff to share powerful, personal stories of how this would impact their lives, their livelihood, their family and their work life to provide the best education for their students,” said Son. “Our members are excited to continue this work at our local in coordination with our statewide unions to win for our adjuncts!”