Friday, April 14, 2006

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.


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