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Parity of Partiality in California? Only Time Will Tell

by Pamela Dillon

IN ITS 1998 report, “Marching Toward Equity,” the American Federation of Teachers documented that part-time college faculty accounted for 42.6 percent of the total number of college faculty in America. Furthermore, 72 percent of part-timers were paid less than $3,000 per course, and a typical part-timer teaching four courses per semester received an annual salary of $20,000.

That same report indicated that in California 31,000 community
college adjunct faculty represented two-thirds of all faculty in the state, taught 40 percent of classes, but only earned 42 percent of what their full-time counterparts did.

Thanks to that report, and grass-roots pressure from part-time
advocates and the California Federation of Teachers, Governor
Gray Davis recently sought to minimize the pay disparity between
full- and part-time faculty in California. He set aside $57
million for adjunct teacher salary increases in the 2001-2002
state budget. Each of the 72 community college districts received
a portion of those funds, and district union officials are now negotiating the allocation of that money.

During negotiations in certain districts, union and district
officials have been exploring ways to allocate the funds to
full-time faculty, as well. Part-time faculty activist Margaret
Quan, who teaches in the

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