I’ve enjoyed this video in support of legislation for equal compensation for all faculty in Colorado’s community colleges and asked colleague Don Eron to write about it. Don is a faculty member at UC Boulder, a member of the AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, and a leader in the Colorado AAUP conference. Here’s what he says:
Here is a link to a You Tube video of the “official” Colorado HB14-1154 campaign song:
HB14-1154, the Community College Pay and Benefits Equity Act of 2014, will provide equal pay for equal work for Colorado community college faculty. Currently, many community college teachers in Colorado are on food stamps, qualify for indigent health care, and receive their food from food banks. Under the bill, all faculty will receive pay and benefits under one salary schedule. This AAUP legislation has been endorsed by AFT Colorado, SEIU Colorado, AAUW Colorado, the Colorado Education Association, 9 to 5, FRESC, and the New Faculty Majority. It passed through the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee on February 3, and will appear before the Appropriations Committee within the next few weeks.
The Colorado Community College System (CCCS), in opposing this bill, argues that HB14-1154 will result in a doubling of state appropriations, a 56% tuition hike, the closing of numerous campuses, and irreparably damage the quality of education offered by Colorado’s community colleges. However, the CCCS boasts an extraordinarily healthy financial profile. We expect to demonstrate that, through a judicious use of surpluses and by slowing the growth rate in areas less essential than instruction, HB14-1154 will not require additional state expenditures, the raiding of current reserves, tuition increases, or the closing of colleges, and it will not alter in any way the educational mission of the system.
We have a broken community college system that works wonderfully well for one stakeholder–the upper level administrators who make the budget decisions–but offers too many incentives for these administrators to create hardships for instructors and poor learning conditions for students. What HB14-1154 does is remove the CCCS’s overwhelming financial incentive to prevent part-time faculty from becoming full-time faculty.
The You Tube video linked above was a complete surprise–we know that “Anonymous” is an adjunct in the Colorado Community College System, but he prefers to remain hooded for the time being. “Adjunct: Equal Pay” is the best song/video I’ve ever seen or heard about adjunct labor. It also perfectly captures the grassroots ethos of the HB14-1154 campaign.
For more information on this legislation, please go to the Front Range Community College AAUP Chapter home page: https://sites.google.com/site/coloradoadjunctswiki/home