Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Even With Unions, Adjuncts Are Rarely Protected From Last-Minute Job Losses

The Chronicle of Higher Education
April 21st, 2015


The movement to unionize adjunct instructors has yet to protect most of them from taking big financial hits from last-minute class cancellations, according to new study based on an analysis of contract provisions.
Just one in four union contracts covering adjunct instructors includes any sort of provision ensuring them some payment when a course assignment is canceled, the study found. Where such provisions are in place, for the most part, they let colleges cancel adjuncts’ classes with little notice and for a broad range of reasons, says a paper summarizing the study’s findings. Most ensure adjunct instructors reimbursements of only a few hundred dollars for the canceled work — a pittance considering the time some may have already spent on class planning.
The provisions say "a great deal about the structure of employment for adjunct faculty in the new academy," the paper argues. Such faculty members, it says, "are in a position of preparing classes just in case they are held, thereby providing unpaid labor."

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