Why join our AAUP Community College Chapter?

BY CAPRICE LAWLESS

NOTE: We like the new AAUP “One Faculty” membership brochure. We wanted to customize it for our membership tables to give it a little edge, a little street cred for our audience. This is the copy for the two-sided, letter-sized insert that we fold  into it so that the title extends just beyond the edge of the brochure. We have been distributing these bulked-up “One Faculty” brochures in faculty workrooms and at our Adjunct Survival Workshops. Like the adjuncts they are designed for, they are straightforward, hardworking and get results. Feel free to use any of this copy to customize a “One Faculty” insert for your community college chapter.

Why join our Community College AAUP chapter?

Because there is power in numbers

We have been hard at work to strengthen faculty rights, to advocate for adjunct faculty equal pay, to restore shared governance and to promote academic freedom. Our legislative efforts (House Bill 14-1154 and Senate Bill 15-094) represent watershed change. These historic measures were the first attempts taken to the highest levels of state government by Colorado Community College System adjuncts to address workplace injustice. The 4,000+ CCCS adjuncts are 80% of the faculty.

 Because there is power in friendship

Working as an adjunct is far too lonely and discouraging, by design. Research on the psychological violence inflicted through precarious employment such as the use of adjunct teachers in higher education accurately describes its effects. Workplace injustices such as those we encounter can lead to depression, anxiety, inability to concentrate, divorce, suicide, road rage, etc. By connecting with peers who aren’t being paid to pretend they care about you, we help one another in countless ways. Members tell us that knowing they are not alone and that they are not failures (in spite of the evidence their paychecks might imply) make a huge difference in their feelings of self-worth.

 Because this IS professional development

The faculty majority in the CCCS has been misled to believe they are to behave like retail clerks, that their department chairs are their supervisors, and that it is normal for the power in a college to belong to the administrators. Such designs violate all the principles that ensure higher education’s contribution to the higher good, and the prestigious AAUP is the author of those principles. The AAUP is the highly respected, premier advocate for the profession of teaching. Administrators would have you believe you are so unimportant that you deserve poverty-level wages, that you have to be left out of college governance, and that you have no rights whatsoever. This is a method of control, and, if left unchecked, it will destroy the profession of collegiate teaching. The best antidote for the effects of so much “flexibility” is to join a group that stands for enduring values and protection of this profession.

 Because we don’t waste your time or money

We meet when we can, however we can, with as much energy as we can muster, and we use our time together to craft needed change, address current issues, and to plan ahead. Because adjunct faculty are, perforce, impoverished, we meet in unusual places and on the cheap. We don’t charge chapter dues, as we know even paying the national dues for teachers in our income category is a stretch for working teachers who have way too much month left at the end of the money. We sell cookbooks, stickers and other items to raise the funds we need for printing. We carpool to the capitol for meetings when we go there. We make it real and we make it fun. We know. We care. We act accordingly.

 Because administration has no incentive to change

Through three years of direct action, we have learned where the money and power reside in the CCCS, and why the working conditions for adjuncts will never change unless we push for that change ourselves. Already, through our work, we have seen FRCC institute a tiered-pay system and a more predictable payment schedule. We need all the protections outlined in the AAUP Colorado Community College Faculty Bill of Rights. We continue to work to see those rights adopted.

How do I join?

Go to the “Join” page of the national AAUP website

Note: for most CCCS adjuncts, choose “Band 1:” income less than $30K. Also, our chapters are advocacy chapters, not collective bargaining units.

You can list your local chapter, but if your campus does not yet have a chapter of its own, you can still join and select the “Colorado Conference” as an at-large member. We have many such members.

 How much does it cost?

For most CCCS adjuncts, the cost is $58/year. That translates to $4.83/month, or about the price of a deluxe burrito.

 How do I contact the chapter leaders at my college?

The chapter officers and their contact information are all listed under the college tabs at the top of our big, CCCS-wide website:

AAUP Chapters of the CCCS

While you are there, take a look at our “Financial Help for Adjunct Faculty” page, our “Research on Adjunct Issues” page, and our “Recent, Interesting Links” page. By doing so, you’ll get a sense of some of the work we are doing, and how we help one another stay informed on the issues.

 Where do I find out more about what ought to be my faculty rights?

The Colorado Community College Faculty Bill of Rights

 Join us! We make friends, make noise, and make a difference!

 

 

 

 

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