On Wednesday, September 7, the Union Negotiating Committee met with the college administration for continued discussion of adjunct appointments and job security. They embraced some of our changes in regards to their proposal for three-year appointments for experienced adjuncts, and said they would look more closely into other proposals we put forward, including a clearer and more timely notification process for adjunct assignments.
There are two major points of disagreement on this section of the proposed contract. First, the administration rejects the idea that assignments, layoffs, recalls, and scheduling should be subject to seniority (given otherwise equal qualifications). In addition, they reject our proposal to create full-time visiting positions for long-term adjuncts teaching multiple classes. They suggested that adjunct, visiting, and tenure/tenure-track faculty are fundamentally different in their qualifications and duties, and stated that adjuncts rarely become visiting or tenure/tenure-track faculty.
We strongly disagreed and gave a number of examples of faculty members who have moved in and out of adjunct status or who have greater experience or qualifications than their T/TT colleagues. Of the newly hired visiting faculty for this academic year, nine out of the 10 were previously adjuncts at Siena College. We argued that the increasing reliance on contingent faculty is bad not just for faculty, who live in a constant state of uncertainty, but for students and the college as well. The administration replied that they value all faculty equally. If that is the case, this needs to be reflected in the contract in terms of both job security and compensation.
We will let you know when our next meeting is scheduled. In the meantime, let’s celebrate the start of the new academic year next Thursday, 9/15, at Milano’s in Newton Plaza (594 New Loudon Road, just up the street from Siena). Please join us for happy hour, anytime after 5:30 pm!
Your Union Negotiating Committee
Amy Santos, Quantitative Business & Math