Friday, January 30, 2015

Alice the Adjunct Says, "I Hate The Fucking Mascot Thing. Here's Something that Matters."

National Adjunct Walkout Day Planned

What would academe look like without adjuncts? That question could be answered, at least for a day, on the first-ever National Adjunct Walkout Day, planned for Feb. 25, 2015. The protest to highlight adjuncts’ relatively low wages and working conditions – despite the fact that they make up the majority of instructors – is gaining traction on social media, including on Facebook and on Twitter at #NAWD.

An adjunct instructor of writing at San Jose State University who did not yet want to be identified by name, citing concerns about her job security, proposed the idea last week. She said the response has been “enormous,” even in a short period of time, “because an action like this is long overdue.” The adjunct said the walkout day doesn’t have a central organizing committee, and that it will look different on different campuses. Groups might highlight the “educational or administrative issues impacting adjuncts within that particular campus, across the country, or [the] plights of individual adjuncts,” she said. But the central idea of the movement is that “no adjunct or campus must face these shared issues alone.”

From InsideHigherEd.

5 comments:

Beaker Ben said...

No committee meeting needed? You've got my support!

Snarky Writer said...

I'd be participating if I'd been picked up for any classes at all this semester. As it is, it's hard to walk out of a job you don't have.

Contingent Cassandra said...

This is a good (and probably overdue idea), though it's not clear exactly what form it's going to take (probably many different ones at many different institutions; the main thing, I think, is to make sure that, now that it's been announced, it doesn't just fizzle, proving just how unorganized and exhausted, and therefore powerless, contingent faculty are).

I've been following along, and trying to figure out what to do (and even/how full-time contingent faculty should be involved --- though really, I think all faculty should be involved, on general moral principles, and also as a matter of self-interest; we're pretty clearly at a "first, they came for the adjuncts" point when it comes to faculty power, or lack thereof).

For more info, there's a facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Adjunct-Walkout-Day/340019999501000 ) and a twitter feed (https://twitter.com/nationaladjunct ). And the latter has word of a podcast today: https://www.insidehighered.com/audio/2015/01/30/program-33-sticking-credit-hour-day-without-adjuncts-jan-30-2015 .

The other obvious opening for some sort of advocacy is the president's plan to make community college free. If that moves forward (perhaps unlikely in the current political climate), then we need to raise the question of who will be teaching those free-to-the-student classes. If grade 13-14 education is essential enough to the national wellbeing to provide it to all citizens, then it's worth paying people a living wage to provide it.

Ogre Proctor Hep said...

"If grade 13-14 education is essential enough to the national wellbeing to provide it to all citizens, then it's worth paying people a living wage to provide it."

If P then Q. I assert that P is true, therefore also Q. I trust that before this audience, I do not need to show my work.

I will float the idea of NAWD with my colleagues so as to build consensus and form an action plan. I think it's worth it, nay mandatory, for tenure-track (and especially the tenured) faculty to show solidarity in some definite way. It is in all of our best interest that anybody charged with educating our future leaders be paid and treated like the highly skilled professional that they are.

Ogre Proctor Hep said...

Under the circumstances, I think the administration should have to take the day off in your stead. Except that might actually make the machine run better.