In her testimony, Maria Maisto correctly emphasizes that the ACA itself is not the problem but, instead, the efforts by colleges and universities to avoid providing to their part-time faculty the health insurance that the ACA makes available.
1700 West Market Street #159
Akron, OH 44313
Testimony for the Record
Submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce
for the November 14, 2013 Hearing on
“The Effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Schools, Colleges, and Universities.”
Good morning, Chairman Kline, Ranking Member Miller, and members of the committee on Education and the Workforce. My name is Maria Maisto, and I am the president of New Faculty Majority and the Executive Director of its affiliated Foundation. We are the only national nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to improving the quality of higher education by improving the working conditions of the majority of faculty who work in temporary, precarious positions while teaching over half of all undergraduate courses in higher education. This majority is now 75% of the faculty, or over a million professors, often known as “adjuncts,” working on contingent appointments—that is, appointments that are contingent on budgets and enrollments and can be terminated with little or no notice. Continue reading
Not surprisingly, the following news release reflecting the ideological position of the GOP majority on the committee completely ignores Maria Maisto’s testimony and frames the hearings in which she participated as providing just further evidence of the supposedly devastating impact of the ACA. Notice that Maria’s testimony is not quoted even once in the excerpts from the hearings that constitute the second half of the news release, but the two administrators who clearly oppose the ACA are quoted repeatedly.
Hearing Exposes ObamaCare’s Painful Consequences for Students, Educators, and Schools
The House Education and the Workforce Committee, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), today held a hearing to discuss the challenges schools and postsecondary institutions now face as a result of President Obama’s government takeover of health care.
“Over the last several years we’ve talked a great deal about the budgetary challenges facing states, school districts, and institutions of higher education,” Chairman Kline said. “We’ve discussed how Washington can at times make these fiscal problems worse. Much of the debate has focused on the costs of federal rules, regulations, and mandates that directly intervene in classrooms.”
“However,” Chairman Kline added, “we must be mindful that federal policies unrelated to education can still burden classrooms. The health care law is a prime example. At a time when we need to recruit the best teachers, train today’s workers for the jobs of the future, and school leaders are trying to do more with less, imposing a fundamentally flawed and costly law on our schools is not in the best interests of teachers, parents, taxpayers, or students.” Continue reading
Nov 19, 2013 Issues: Education, Higher Education, Labor, Jobs and Job Training, Worker Rights,Wages and Benefits
WASHINGTON – Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, today announced an eForum to investigate how an increased reliance on contingent faculty by colleges and universities nationwide has impacted the lives of faculty as well as students’ higher education.
“This eForum is an opportunity for adjuncts and other contingent faculty to inform the Congress about what’s happening on the ground with higher education. I think there is a huge lack of understanding of what it means to be in the adjunct world,” said Rep. Miller. Rep. Miller raised the idea of an internet forum for receiving adjuncts’ stories and comments at a committee hearing last week.
“We should all be alarmed about what’s been happening to higher education labor over the last couple decades,” Rep. Miller later elaborated. “Tuition keeps skyrocketing. Yet the people doing the bulk of the work educating college students are getting less and less compensation. There are adjuncts who make between $2000 and $3000 per course for a semester, with no benefits. There are adjuncts on food stamps. I think the Congress should be taking a serious look at this phenomenon.” Continue reading
By Maria Peluso
This is the eigth and last in a series of Academe Blog guest posts arranged by the AAUP Committee on Contingency and the Profession in celebration of Campus Equity Week. For information on and resources for CEW, see the national website at http://www.campusequityweek.org/2013/.
The Concordia University Part-time Faculty Association (CUPFA) has been celebrating Campus Equity Week (CEW) for the past ten+ years. Each year the union organizes a number of diverse activities from about mid-October to the last week of October. Each year the CEW activities vary as do our CEW goals. Buttons, posters, pamphlets, CUPFA materials such as pens, T-shirts, rulers, etc, are also distributed and focus on an annual theme. Whenever possible, these materials are developed either by our students or by our own members. We have no need to go to Madison Avenue to promote CEW and the work of CUPFA. We hire and use the talent in front of our noses. Continue reading
By David Kociemba
This is the seventh in a series of Academe Blog guest posts arranged by the AAUP Committee on Contingency and the Profession in celebration of Campus Equity Week. For information on and resources for CEW, see the national website at http://www.campusequityweek.org/2013/.
There’s a new benefit worth tens of thousands of dollars that will cost your institution nothing—but they’ll fight to deny it to you anyway. It’s the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Act, which forgives certain kinds of education loans of individuals working in public service jobs… if they’re certified as full-time. There’s the catch: qualifying for this program by working 30 hours a week in public service also might qualify you for eligibility for health care under the Affordable Care Act. Unlike the ACA, however, hours working multiple part-time jobs can be combined to meet eligibility requirements.
By Marcia Newfield
This is the sixth in a series of Academe Blog guest posts arranged by the AAUP Committee on Contingency and the Profession in celebration of Campus Equity Week. For information on and resources for CEW, see the national website at http://www.campusequityweek.org/2013/.
COCAL XI will take place in New York City August 4–6, 2014 at John Jay College of the City University of New York ( 524 West 59th St ).
COCAL stands for the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor. As described on the Campus Equity Week website (http://www.campusequityweek.org/2013/), COCAL has been meeting every other year since 1996, gathering contingents and allies from North America (Canada, the U.S., and Mexico). Continue reading
By Mary Ellen Goodwin
This is the fifth in a series of Academe Blog guest posts arranged by the AAUP Committee on Contingency and the Profession in celebration of Campus Equity Week. For information on and resources for CEW, see the national website at http://www.campusequityweek.org/2013/.
In August 2012, contingent academic activists from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico converged on the campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México for three days of plenaries and workshops focused on the impact of the globalized neoliberal economy on public higher education. The gathering in Mexico City marked a milestone on a journey that has spanned seventeen years; not only was it the first time the conference was held in Mexico, but it was the largest gathering since the first meeting of the National Congress of Adjunct, Part-Time, Graduate Teaching Assistants, and Non-Tenured Faculty in Washington, D.C., in December 1996. Continue reading
By Maxwell John Love
This is the fourth in a series of Academe Blog guest posts arranged by the AAUP Committee on Contingency and the Profession in celebration of Campus Equity Week. For information on and resources for CEW, see the national website at http://www.campusequityweek.org/2013/.
Growing up in a rural town in Wisconsin, I spent my weekends and summers with a pitchfork and straw bedding down calves on a local farm. I went on to study political science and Afro-American studies at the UW-Madison only a few miles from the hospital where I was born.
Now, as the Vice President of the United States Student Association—the nation’s oldest, largest, and incredibly diverse national student association—I find myself wondering what I am doing in DC attending meetings at the Department of Education or on the Hill. What I don’t find here in DC is a real regard for the struggle of working class students, students of color, or hard-working contingent faculty and staff on our campuses—the people on campus who are simply trying to make this country a more educated and better place for our families. The 66-year legacy of our organization may have gotten us to the table, but, oftentimes, we are the only group who represents students consulted on important policy decisions. Continue reading
Guest Blogger Dr. Elizabeth Keenan teaches music history at Fordham University and Columbia University. With the exception of a one-year VAP, she has been adjuncting since 2007.
I’m an adjunct at two different private universities.* In those positions, I’ve encountered numerous tenured and tenure-track faculty who were allies to adjuncts, and numerous faculty who were not. After Monday’s post critiquing ineffective tenured allies, I want to be a bit more productive than deconstructive. One of the things that I’ve learned from my long years studying feminist activism is that critique has its place, but positive actions should emerge from it.
Here are some handy tips, if you have tenure (or are close to getting it), and you’d like to be an ally: Continue reading
By Robert Samuels
This is the third in a series of Academe Blog guest posts arranged by the AAUP Committee on Contingency and the Profession in celebration of Campus Equity Week. For information on and resources for CEW, see the national website at http://www.campusequityweek.org/2013/.
In my book, Why Public Higher Education Should be Free, I argue that the problems facing higher education cannot be resolved in a piecemeal or institution-by-institution process. We need a comprehensive plan to deal with tuition increases, student debt, decreased degree attainment, questionable educational practices, and the casualization of the academic labor force. Fortunately, we can resolve all these issues if we start with the notion that all public higher education should be free. One reason why we need to begin with this strong claim is that, if education is seen as a private good accessed by private individuals for private means, there will be no way to make higher education a public good. Continue reading