Well, since I’m getting along so well with the CCV already . . .
In 2006, I opposed the union drive, lost some good friends/colleagues along the way. I simply did not trust the Vermont State College teacher’s union and other entities vying for our attention. By 2008, it was crystal clear that administrators, low-level and higher up, were engaged in a slow, calculated seek and destroy mission targeting union supporters. It seems redundant to state what’s been already covered in the comments that accompany http://www.adjunctproject.com/2012-worst-place-to-teach-award-goes-to/
I can say without hesitation that I was wrong to trust the CCV site coordinators and regional commandants; yet, I believe my refusal to support the drive after three or four very troubling meetings with the state union was the right decision. Keene State union a few years later showed how administrations can still get away for financial murder even with union support; the Community College of New Hampshire adjuncts joined with SEA/SEIU two years ago and the endless conversations continue. At least the adjuncts are being heard and a strong, thoughtful, and fearless organization like SEA/SEIU are on the case.
At CCV, part-time professors — I still refuse to use the downsized word “instructor” — are not compensated for their actual labor. CCV is very invested in perpetuating the contact hour lie which I’ve started to cover on the Migrant Intellectual blog:
Before we discuss prep, advising, email, phone calls, curriculum development, faculty meetings, etc. it is very important that part-time faculty at the CCV get paid for 100% of their work 100% of the time. The unions are focused on equity issues matching their expertise. They are pursuing new ways to challenge the lack of access to health care and the rock bottom wages for our profession. I’m sorry but giving everyone a raise (which was important and a real concession), acknowledging preparatory work by way of course cancellation fees, and encouraging compensation curriculum and other traditional academic development simply doesn’t even begin the more important conversation.
Philosophy helps us cut through the bullshit, excuse me, I meant to say lies. Harry Frankfurt put it perfectly when he described “bullshit” as statements or actions that indeed fall short of lying yet perpetuate their own truth no matter how much damage is caused. It seems doable to move the CCV from lies to bullshit. This cannot happen until the CCV (or any other college that) compensate its professors for all labor rendered (all of them) the way any other professions justify their fees and services. Name a dentist who doesn’t bill insurance companies for all services provided. A lawyer who doesn’t keep time slips for each client. But, a professor teaching a college writing course: by all means, make an in-kind donation of 60% or more of your labor. Anthropologists, you must donate your prep, email, and grading time.