by Eric Kaljumägi, CCA President
CCA/CTA Co-sponsored Legislation AB 1752 (Santiago)
For too long, Long Beach City College (LBCC) and other community colleges throughout the state have unfairly and unlawfully exploited part-time faculty. This exploitation goes against the original legislative intent allowing community colleges to hire some part-time faculty to fill temporary, emergency needs and not as a cost-saving practice.
AB 1752 by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago would prevent this from happening again by ensuring that part-time faculty are fairly compensated for the work they do to support community college students. Part-time faculty make up nearly 60% of the community college workforce, yet they are paid far less than full-time faculty.
In many if not all ways, part-time faculty are an exploited second class in the academic world. In 1968, California Education Code (EDC) was revised to create part-time faculty to fill emergency, temporary needs in the community colleges, but contrary to the labels of temporary and adjunct/unnecessary rooted in the EDC, part-time faculty have become a permanent fixture in the college system, and many of these professionals have been teaching on temporary contracts for decades at the same institutions. This exploitation harms our part-time faculty and our institutions, but it damages our students far more as they have limited access to part-time faculty.
The time has come for California to make equal pay a reality for educators in the largest post-secondary education system in the world. During this climate of unprecedented economic uncertainty, nothing could be more important than ensuring that all workers receive equal pay for equal work.
It is unfair for California Community Colleges to shortchange students by paying unfair wages to more than half of our faculty. We encourage you to join us in calling on legislators today to support AB 1752 and end this exploitation once and for all. Join CCA and CTA in urging lawmakers to Support equal pay for equal work and add your name to the list of supporters!
In an April 4 news conference which was live-streamed on Facebook, CTA and CCA announced that on behalf of two part-time community college instructors, a class-action lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court charging Long Beach Community College District with violating minimum wage laws in its failure to pay adjunct faculty for work done outside of scheduled classroom hours.
The class-action lawsuit has the potential to benefit hundreds of other LBCC adjunct faculty, and is a case likely to trigger much closer examination of pay structure for part-time instructors on other California community college campuses. This impacts more than 650 current part-time faculty at LBCC, as well as an undetermined number of former faculty members. Exploiting workers is illegal and antithetical to the work Californians have been doing to address wage gaps and educator shortages.
The time for pay parity is now.
Eric is a full-time mathematics professor at Mt. San Antonio College where he has been teaching since 1999. Before coming to “Mt. SAC,” Eric earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in mathematics from UC Davis and taught for seven years at the middle and high school levels in northern California. He also gained four years of experience as an adjunct professor for the Yuba and Mendocino College Districts during the late 90’s.