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!

Class-Action Lawsuit

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 Kaljumägi

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.

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One Reply to “Equal Pay for Equal Work”

  1. Alexis Moore

    Many contingent faculty in the CCC’s disagree.
    You state:
    “AB 1752 by Assembly member 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.”

    1). The passage of AB1752 will NOT PREVENT, nor ENSURE that part-time faculty are fairly compensated, rather will only serve to force local union leadership (FT mostly) to negotiate our working conditions–again–and again–with districts. But this has been the case for decades and contingent faculty in the CCC’s are as far behind as ever.
    Who is responsible ? Ahem.

    2). Who has been advocating for real changes to adjunct working conditions in the CCC’s? I happen to know, many, many adjuncts have been, for decades.

    Where are the rest of the faculty, aren’t we all the same ? Aren’t unions supposed to treat ALL faculty the same ? I am here to tell you, that is not the case.

    3). Advocating for or assisting in drafting new legislation which only serves to slow down much needed improvements to our working conditions as we must locally bargain everything, and is not going to amount to much more than we already have is nothing more than a ruse.

    Actually, many of us, have for decades, seen that our unions (who are largely FT led) actually works against us, it is very irresponsible to continue to create/support “piecemeal” legislation which ends up bringing little change, over decades, to our basic working conditions. (it is even worse to suggest that passage of this bill will have any impact on adjuncts…that is out of our hands.)

    4). I am disturbed by the waving away of the structural issues of the two-tier system where the people who are asked to unify are the people at the bottom.. we are asked to support hiring more TT faculty. Meanwhile, inherent in our system in the CCC’s is a built-in “conflict of interest” where FT negotiate FOR adjuncts and they also HIRE/DON’T REHIRE us. As Deans and Chairs who run the department/divisions and sit in ‘consultation’ with management and for management keep us out of negotiations and out of fair and collective bargaining.
    So when our unions look like management, act like management…guess what…to us you ARE management, so “which side are you on?”

    Respectfully,
    Alexis Moore

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