The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that the board of the Community College of Allegheny County today unanimously approved a three-year contract with its roughly 800 adjunct faculty members.
CCAC spokeswoman Elizabeth Johnston said the collective bargaining agreement includes a pay raise of $50 in the first year, $25 in the second year and $5 in the third year — effectively a 10 percent pay raise over three years. Adjuncts are currently paid $750 per credit, which amounts $2,250 for a three-credit course.
The contract runs from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2019.
The adjunct faculty voted last July to affiliate with the American Federation of Teachers, and the school did not fight the effort. Jennie Snyder, an adjunct art professor who helped start the organizing effort about three years ago, said members were “very pleased” with the outcome Thursday.
This is a turn around from 2012 when AdjunctNation reported that College of Allegheny County’s president, Alex Johnson, cut hours for some 400 part-time workers to avoid providing health insurance coverage for them under the then-impending Affordable Health Care Act. The move was a cost-saving measure at a time when the college faced a funding reduction.
But to some of the employees affected, including 200 adjunct faculty members, the decision smacked of an attempt to circumvent the national health care legislation that went into effect in January 2014.
“It’s kind of a double whammy for us because we are facing a legal requirement [under the new law] to get health care and if the college is reducing our hours, we don’t have the money to pay for it,” said Adam Davis, an adjunct professor who has taught biology at CCAC since 2005.
Jennie Snyder, speaking about the 2016 contract said: “We got a lot more than we thought we would as far as rights go, and we laid the groundwork for a great future [and] future negotiations.”
The 2016 agreement states that in addition to the pay raise, adjuncts may now participate in departmental meetings and training opportunities. They also will have seniority in class scheduling, which Ms. Snyder said allows for job security.
The school’s faculty members, including full-timers and several hundred part-timers, have been represented by the AFT for the past 40 years. In 2008, AdjunctNation published a blog piece by editor P.D. Lesko critical of the AFT affiliate at CACC for negotiating equal percentage raises for both full-time and part-time faculty union members:
In my last entry, I mentioned the common practice of higher education union affiliates negotiating equal percentage raises for both full-time and part-time faculty. As if on cue, AFT Local 2067, representing 345 full-time and part-time faculty at the Community College of Allegheny County, proudly announced that union negotiators had hammered out a new three-year contract. Read about the contract here.
According to the article in the Pittsburgh Business Times, “Under the three-year contract, the union’s 345 full-time and part-time faculty and staff at CCAC will receive average salary increases of 3 to 4 percent the first year, and 4 to 5 percent in the second and third years.”
While the 2016 contract calls for dollar amount raises over the next 36 months which equal a total of $80 per three-credit course, the fact remains that CACC adjunct pay, despite four decades of representation by the AFT, is less than the national per course average of $2,500 and well below the $5,000 per course pay sought by adjunct activists.