Unemployment 101


One of the Caped Crusaders of adjunct activism, Mr. Joe Berry, along with his equally hard-working colleagues Beverly Stewart, and Helena Worthen, have put together a detailed booklet explaining the procedure for part-time faculty to file for unemployment between semesters. Part-time faculty who are not guaranteed teaching work from one semester to the next are, in essence, either laid off or fired between semesters. According to the Three Musketeers from Chicago COCAL, this entitles part-timers to file for unemployment insurance. According to the Chicago COCAL website, information contained in the booklet written by Berry, Stewart and Worthen doesn’t guarantee you’ll land unemployment bennies, but the booklet will take you through the steps involved in applying.

The printed booklet is for sale ($5.00, plus shipping and handling). This is slightly irritating, considering that the AFT, AAUP and NEA national offices all had a hand in financing the project. Joe Berry explained that the national unions (AFT, NEA, AAUP) fronted $1,500 each to cover the costs of typesetting the manuscript and having a few thousand copies printed in exchange for 500 copies each. Of course I know money doesn’t grow on trees, but that part-time faculty of all people have to pay to get help applying for unemployment strikes me as almost Dickensian. I don’t mind paying the authors, mind you!

For those disinclined or unable to pony up for the printed booklet, here is a handy link provided by the Chicago COCAL folks to a free copy of the pub. in PDF format. I’ve downloaded it, but not read the booklet in its entirety yet. When I do, I’ll let you know what I think. In the meantime, thumbs up to Berry, Stewart and Worthen for making every effort to help part-timers get the unemployment money we deserve. Thumbs down to the AFT, AAUP and NEA for wringing money out of part-timers for the 28 page booklet.

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