By Susanne Cervenka for Asbury Park Press. Originally published on August 26, 2022.

MIDDLETOWN [CONNECTICUT] ― Brookdale Community College reached a deal with its part-time faculty that gives the educators the higher pay they demanded while also fulfilling what students have said is a key need: More face time with their professors.

Leaders of Monmouth County’s community college this week ratified the first contract with the Brookdale Adjunct Faculty Chapter of the United Adjunct Faculty of New Jersey, which also approved the deal with a 74-1 vote last week.

“It was a perfect situation where we able to get something the students were asking for and also the extra pay the adjuncts wanted,” Brookdale President David Stout said. “It was good for our students and good for adjuncts.”

Leaders of the adjunct union said the first contract made its members feel like they are a stronger part of Brookdale overall.

“We are not invisible anymore,” said Joan Carroll, an adjunct math professor who served on the bargaining committee with fellow adjunct faculty members Jim Schmitt, who teaches math, and Karen Strickland, who teaches English.

Adjunct faculty are part-time employees who teach courses at colleges and universities on a contract basis versus the full-time faculty, who earn a set salary. Adjunct staff also don’t earn benefits like health care, jury duty pay or bereavement leave that full-time faculty get.

The contract is a six-year deal retroactive to July 1, 2019, and will run through the 2024-25 academic year. The deal hit on key issues for the adjunct staff: higher pay in a paycheck that comes sooner after the start of each semester.

The contract includes annual increases in adjuncts pay from $825 per credit they have been making to $850 per credit for the 2019-20 academic year. The increases continue each year, reaching $985 per credit for the final year of the contract.

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