On Wednesday, February 6th, the House College and Workforce Development Committee held a study session on the subject of the faculty mix, or the proportion of courses taught by adjunct vs. full-time faculty. This is one of the issues that HB 1300, the budget component of the ROC campaign, seeks to address by providing increased funding for the CTCs to convert some adjunct faculty to full-time tenure track positions.
Steven Sadlier, Associate Faculty at South Puget Sound Community College and part-time representative of local 4603, spoke to both the high qualifications of adjunct faculty and the impact on students of taking classes with faculty who aren’t provided the institutional support needed to fully meet the needs of students, e.g. office space, compensation for office hours, etc. Sue Nightingale, WEA local president at Bellevue College, pointed out the range of institutional costs that come with rehiring faculty quarter after quarter. Steven and Sue represented the faculty effectively, demonstrating the need for the robust investment we are seeking.
A concern that lurks in the background of our ROC campaign is that some stakeholders have an interest in funding their particular constituency rather than the CTCs more generally. The CTCs have been underfunded for so long that there are numerous constituencies of employees who are struggling. Funding only select constituencies won’t address the systemic problems that come along with underfunding. This is why HB 1300 calls for overall compensation increases for all employees, an allocation of funding to address part-time pay inequity, funds an increase in full-time faculty and counselors, and more. Our belief is that if we can close the 12.4% pay gap faced by faculty and professional/exempt staff, lift up the classified staff in line with the cost of living, and invest in the human infrastructure, we can address the more specific needs of various employee constituencies. Starting with targeted investments, on the other hand, results in picking winners and losers, with a few winners doing much better, but large numbers of our members being left in the dust.
The AFT Washington team is fully engaged in the effort to win the support of the committee to vote our bill out and send it to Appropriations. Our work is amplified and deepened with your participation. Please prioritize joining us in Olympia on February 18th for Lobby Day. When legislators see our members in AFT Blue and they hear our stories, the need for robust investment becomes abundantly clear and their support is much more likely. Register for the event today – we look forward to seeing you in Olympia!
You can watch the testimony here.
Don't Forget! Tell the House Committee to Pass HB 1300 and HB 1355 Out Of Committee
The House College and Workforce Development Committee still has our bills, HB 1300 and HB 1355, in committee, and we need you to send one more email and give them the push they need to pass our bills on. Click here and send the ready-made message or modify it to suit you.
Washington News Service Covers The ROC
This week, the Washington News Service produced a short piece on the ROC campaign, which you can read here. The Washington News Service creates radio and web articles for news outlets to pick up and use for free. Feel free to share this piece on your social media channels!