When's Some Adjunct Group Gonna File a Lawsuit?

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.”
I know AFT’s Craig Smith, the American Federation of Teachers Associate Director of Field Services and Communications reads my blog, and I hope he will comment, and explain to all of us how equal percentage raises benefit part-time faculty, and how negotiating equal percentage raises qualifies as equal representation of full-time and part-time faculty within a unified union local. If you check out this page from the CACC union’s contract, you’ll see that the three percent raise will mean exponentially more money for the full-time faculty members. The previous contract raised senior professor salaries by $11,000 over the life of the agreement, and set forth negotiated salary minimums.
Negotiating a raise in pay 10 times larger for one union member at the expense (literal and figurative) of another union member is business as usual nowadays in AFT, NEA and AAUP locals. Every time I read about such contracts, I hope a group of part-time faculty somewhere will file a class-action lawsuit against their local, as well as the national union rather than accept the equal percentage raise. It’s very likely the only way the higher education union leaders in the United States will be moved to put an end to the heinous negotiating tactic that actually guarantees part-time faculty will never achieve pay parity in locals that practice it.

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