CCA is about to announce plans for payroll and expense reductions for the fall semester, likely including cuts to courses, sections, and faculty positions. These cuts would have dire academic and human consequences, disproportionately affecting the least well paid and economically secure. We have heard administrators’ insist on maintaining a “balanced budget,” but transparency in budgeting must be foundational as we go forward. Cuts should not be accomplished on the backs of CCA’s most vulnerable and crucial laborers.
In this extraordinary period, "business as usual" is no longer appropriate. Job loss during an economic crisis could cause unemployment that lasts for months, even years. Loss of health insurance during a pandemic could be a death sentence.
We have a choice. There are alternatives to massive job loss and its consequences.
Now is the time to recommit to quality education. Reducing class sizes and enrollment floors would result in more classes and sections, more employment for adjunct faculty, and a richer educational experience for our students. With social distancing becoming necessary until there's a vaccine, smaller classes are also SAFER, both for students and teachers. After a chaotic and disruptive spring semester, our students need the highest quality academic experience we can offer. This will increase student retention and student success.
During the transition from classroom to remote instruction, faculty rose to the challenge and performed many hours of additional work without commensurate compensation. This has been especially true of adjunct faculty, who do most of the teaching at CCA. Compensation should be distributed to adjunct faculty for committee work, peer training and support, and other non-classroom duties that will become necessary as CCA adjusts to the reality of operating during a pandemic. Stronger community and broader shared governance will be critical resources for the complicated times ahead.
CCA has the ability to preserve adjunct faculty jobs. The college is slated to receive 1.5 million dollars to help manage pandemic hardship. Lives and livelihoods are on the line. Instead of claiming austerity, CCA should make the college budget transparent. Open the books.
CCA’s commitment to social justice is not just aspirational. It can and should guide us through difficult times. The college must do everything it can to prevent the current economic crisis from becoming a human crisis.
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The CCA Adjunct Union