From Fred van Hartesveldt, President of the Faculty Association:
Hello, GRCC faculty colleagues:
An ongoing topic of discussion this year at Faculty Council and among Faculty Association officers and negotiating team members has been adjunct faculty representation, communication and work load. We have about 575 adjunct faculty members this semester, more than two adjunct faculty for each full-time faculty member. Adjunct faculty members contribute about a third of the Faculty Association revenue. Faculty Association resources expended for adjunct faculty have grown tremendously. This has been much of the work of only a handful of full-time faculty members – the negotiating team, grievance representatives and myself.
Your Faculty Association officers, negotiating team members and I believe that we can better share the resources and responsibilities of the Faculty Association and improve Faculty Association representation for all faculty. Long-term changes, through changes to the Faculty Constitution, should be considered and decided upon by Faculty Council and the entire Faculty Association membership. If constitutional changes are to be considered, it would take time and under our by-laws can’t be done until next year. However, an immediate option endorsed by the Faculty Association negotiating team and myself is to engage an adjunct faculty member to represent and advocate for adjunct faculty above and beyond the duties of the Faculty Council adjunct representatives. This work will include:
- responding to adjunct requests for information,
- communicating with adjunct faculty,
- representing adjuncts regarding contractual responsibilities, benefits, disciplinary matters and grievances,
- working with the Faculty Council adjunct representatives and periodically reporting to Faculty Council, and
- working with appropriate administrators, Faculty Association officers and negotiating team members regarding adjunct concerns.
This work will start next fall and pay three hours of release time to an adjunct faculty member. If it succeeds or at least shows sufficient promise, the work may continue in the Winter 2015 semester and beyond. My guess is that this work will take several hours a week; the compensation can be adjusted if the actual time is more or less than expected. If you’re an adjunct faculty member interested in doing this paid work in 2014 – 2015, please reply to this email. The pay rate will be the overload rate of the faculty member doing the work, and the work does count towards the cap on work load for adjunct faculty. You’ll be required to keep track of your time and the work you do. This work as yet has no job title; as the work evolves, so might an appropriate title.
The over-riding intent of this is to strengthen the Faculty Association as one group of all faculty by distributing Faculty Association workload, resources and representation to better include adjunct faculty. If it’s a bad idea, it can end as quickly as it begins; whether or not it works, it can inform Faculty Council’s consideration of constitutional changes in 2014 – 2015.
Faculty Council discussed this topic this past Friday, April 11, so feel free to contact your Faculty Council representative about it. This will also be on the agenda for discussion at the Faculty Association meeting on Friday, May 2.
Fred van Hartesveldt
Faculty Association President.