Sunday, April 23, 2006

Both Dems for governor will sign

At a candidates forum in Culver City yesterday, both Phil Angelides and Steve Westley said they would sign a bill for equal pay for part timers in response to my question. When Pacifica posts the audio file, I will post it here.

Westley said he has taught college before and accurately described our life as "freeway flyers." Without hesitation, Angelides said he would support it itoo.

If someone has a chance to see them in other forums and ask the same question, they should, and make it clear it's something we'll hold them to.

Then we should work to put a bill in front of whichever ends up in office.

Friday, April 14, 2006

AFT resolution on equal pay for part timers

Resolution on Part-time Faculty Compensation and Benefits (2000)


RESOLVED, that the AFT mobilize at all levels through organizing, bargaining and public policy advocacy to end the financial and professional exploitation of part-time faculty...

RESOLVED, that the AFT promote the principle of equal pay and benefits for equal work for part-time faculty with equivalent qualifications and experience...


CA Academic Senate on equal pay for part timers

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges did a report, "Part-Time Faculty: A Principled Perspective," that listed several studies and government agencies that said part timers should get equal pay for equal work. The problem was they no one wanted to vote to force districts to do this.

How can so many people say that it is wrong to do something, but essentially do nothing to stop it?

They also seem to ignore the fact that in addition to saving money, underpaying part timers gives districts an edge in collective bargaining--they can make it seem like any part timer gain takes away from full timers, and vice versa, one of the oldest union-busting tricks in the book: divide and conquer. That hardly fits their goals of having one unified faculty.

The only argument in favor of keeping unequal pay for part timers is that it will cost money to fix it. But have you ever noticed how creative districts are about finding money for buildings and executive salaries and perks? That creativity will kick in on equal pay if it becomes the law.

Excerpts on equal pay from "Part-Time Faculty: A Principled Perspective":
The Council of Faculty Organizations (COFO) Faculty Equity Statement.

[adopted by the Academic Senate in 1996]

Part-time faculty should be accorded fair compensation, professional respect and due process. It is the recognized role and responsibility of individual bargaining agents to make the contractual gains that will benefit part-time faculty which in turn will improve the educational quality of the institutions that employ them. However, we, the representatives to COFO, urge support for the following rights for part-time faculty: pro-rata pay, contractual considerations for full-time positions, health benefits, seniority on re-hire rights, paid office hours, legitimate STRS pension opportunities and true professional status relating to teaching and learning issues.

Comparable Pay for Comparable Work

Responding to early concerns about the System's overuse and abuse of temporary assignments, the Board of Governors adopted a policy of "equal pay for equal work" in 1977.

Board of Governor's Policy on Pro Rata Pay, Adopted March, 1977

The Board of Governors finds no basis for differing pay schedules for full-time and part-time Community College faculty members where in class and out of class responsibilities are the same. Therefore, in such instances the Board of Governors supports equal pay for equal work (pro rata pay). In instances where part-time faculty have less than the same responsibilities for out of class activities the Board of Governors favors pro rata pay for them equal to that which would be paid to full-time instructors for similar classroom activities.

Assembly Bill 420 (Wildman)

AB 420, in its initial form, would have required that "each person employed by a community college district as a temporary academic employee shall be compensated at a salary or hourly rate that is directly proportional to the salary of a full-time regular employee with comparable training and experience." It would also have established in law a minimum of part-time faculty benefits pro-rated with regard to full-time faculty benefits as well as a seniority-based system of preference for reappointment of part-time faculty continuously employed for three academic years.

Though the bill rapidly passed through Assembly committees and on to the Senate Education Committee, concerns were raised by the Chancellor's Office and local college and district administrators regarding the seniority-based rehire provisions. [final form was largely gutted with only token nods toward equal pay]

The California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) Report

  • The Commission recommends that local community college districts be encouraged to develop salary schedules for part-time faculty members which have structures more comparable to that of full-time faculty.

  • The Commission recommends local community college districts examine the current distribution of compensation resources among part-time and full-time faculty within their district, particularly in those districts where the difference between full-time and part-time faculty salaries is greatest.

Using this classification of what constitutes teaching activities, CPEC calculated that, on average 81% of a full-time faculty member's activities were teaching-related (19% were the sum of advising, administrative, and other activities). Recognizing that the distinction between "advising" and "office hours" is based largely on contractual language rather than the teaching-related nature of the work, and that elements of the "administrative" and "other" classifications would more appropriately be classified as teaching-related, we can see the CPEC study as a confirmation of the State Auditor's determination that part-time faculty are currently expected to fulfill 88% of the duties of a full-time faculty member. Further, since CPEC, like the State Auditor's assumptions, ignored the fact that faculty report working significantly more than the standard 40-hour week, the CPEC analysis supports the view that the current teaching activities of full-time faculty are about 90-91% of their total professional activities.

Recommendations to Local Academic Senates

1. The Academic Senate recommends that local senates work with their local collective bargaining agent, administration and board of trustees to establish principled definitions and policies regarding part-time faculty pay equity, "comparable pay for comparable work" and what should be the professional expectations of all faculty.


CA State Auditor's report on part time pay

When the California State Auditor investigated part time compensation in 2000, they found that if a part timer worked the same hours as a full timer, they would still make 31% less.

The auditor also point out the hypocrisy at all levels on this--while legislators, the state chancellor, and even some administrators (that last one is unlikely) support the concept of equal pay for equal work, it is not given the force of law so that districts have "flexibility" at the bargaining table. In essence, the auditor acknowledges that school districts are cutting ethical corners to balance their budgets.

California State Auditor/Bureau of State Audits
Summary of Report 2000-107 - June 2000

California Community Colleges:
Part-Time Faculty Are Compensated Less Than Full-Time Faculty for Teaching Activities


...For the fall 1999 semester, the districts reported to the Chancellor's Office a total population of 41,754 teaching faculty, of which 28,180 (67 percent) were classified as part-time and 13,574 (33 percent) as full-time...

Overall, part-time faculty earn lower wages and receive fewer benefits for teaching activities than full-time faculty with similar education and experience. Specifically, at the eight districts we reviewed, if part-time faculty were to teach a full course load at their current pay, they would receive an average of $13,042 (or 31 percent) less in annual wages than full-time faculty for teaching activities. In addition, none of the eight districts enhance the pay rate of part-time faculty who have more education and experience as attractively as they do for their full-time instructors. Also, by working in more than one district, some part-time faculty teach as many classes as full-time faculty but receive less for their efforts. Furthermore, the eight districts either do not provide medical benefits to part-time faculty or provide such benefits with restrictions that are not imposed on full-time faculty. Finally, it is more difficult for part-time faculty to obtain the retirement benefits provided to full-time faculty.

Depending on one's policy perspective, the unequal compensation of part-time faculty either creates problems that should be addressed or reflects an appropriate balance of market conditions at the local level that should not be tampered with. In particular, all of the eight districts we reviewed indicated that the existing pay disparity between part-time and full-time faculty creates a financial incentive to use part-time faculty over full-time faculty his incentive is not in keeping with current Chancellor's Office standards, which stress the importance of maintaining a balance between part-time and full-time faculty to ensure the quality of a CCC education. Furthermore, legislative intent, Chancellor's Office policy, and some district administrators' views support equal pay for equal work for part-time faculty. The general argument is that since the colleges hold part-time faculty to the same standards as full-time faculty, they should offer them the same pay. On the other hand, the former governor, the Chancellor's Office, and certain district administrators oppose mandating equal pay for equal work because it would interfere with the collective bargaining process and limit local flexibility....



K-12 equal pay for part timers CA law

California Education Code:

45025. Any person employed by a district in a position requiring certification qualifications who serves less than the minimum schoolday as defined in Sections 46112 to 46116, inclusive, or 46141 may specifically contract to serve as a part-time employee. In fixing the compensation of part-time employees, governing boards shall provide an amount which bears the same ratio to the amount provided full-time employees as the time actually served by such part-time employees bears to the time actually served by full-time employees of the same grade or assignment. This section shall not apply to any person classified as a temporary employee under Sections 44919 and 44888, or any person employed as a part-time employee above and beyond his employment as a full-time employee in the same school district.

The loophole in this law is the same one used on part timers at the community college--the legal fiction that we are temporary employees.

If we work at the same school continuously for five, ten, or twenty years, we are hardly temporary.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Ask governor primary candidates for equal pay law

The California primary is June 6, and the two candidates are neck and neck in the polls. Tell them to pledge to sign an equal pay for equal work bill once in office, so part timers have a reason to vote in the primary instead of waiting for the general election.

Letter to Phil Angelides:

(click to see full sized)

Letter to Steve Westley:

(click to see full sized)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

EQUAL PAY for Part Timers Bill in WA state

Washington state has a bill in both houses that demands part time faculty get pro rata pay, one pay scale for part timers and full timers.

As long as we treat this as an issue for district by district negotiation, administrators can use the part time/ full time issue to divide us over an issue that should be a basic civil right.

The text of the house version is below.

Link to track House version:

Link to track Senate version:

(click to see full sized)

Monday, April 10, 2006


April 2, 2006

Sen. Sheila Kuehl
State Capitol, Room 5108
Sacramento CA 95814

Sen. Kuehl,

I have a profound respect for your work on SB 840, and need your help on another issue of basic decency and social justice: equal pay for equal work for part time faculty at community colleges.

We are required to have the same qualifications as our full time colleagues and teach the same classes, but are paid as little as a third as much per class, and at most schools aren’t even offered health insurance. As a result, most of us patch together jobs in two or more districts since we can only work 60% of full time in any one place. Ironically, we end up teaching more hours than our full time co-workers just to survive.

It is difficult to explain the value of a higher education to our students when our jobs that require masters degrees don’t pay enough to make our student loan payments, to go to the doctor, or sometimes even to make rent.

Section 45025 of the California Education Code already requires K-12 schools to give pro rata pay to part time instructors, and the state of Washington has bills in both their house and senate requiring schools to give equal pay to part timers.

Past legislative remedies have been so tepid and full of loopholes that the money set aside to equalize part timers pay largely ended up in the pockets of administrators.

California should not have to wait for other states to set the example in ending this abuse of college instructors, particularly since the Assembly and Senate have democratic majorities who depend on teachers to vote to keep them in office.

If you sponsored a bill, mandating equal pay for equal work for part time community college faculty, it would go a long way toward correcting this problem. If you cannot do so, please let me know who would be the best legislator to address about this.

Michael Dixon


(click to see full-sized)