A Resolution for improving representation and working conditions
The Contingent Faculty Issues Committee (CFIC) of AFT Washington has been busy in the last six months. In May, the Committee brought forward a resolution at the AFT Washington biennial convention, encouraging locals to increase union membership among contingent/part-time/adjunct faculty, and to better represent said faculty and their needs in union leadership and bargaining. It also committed AFT Washington resources to the cause.
The resolution passed unanimously, and in August the committee held a workshop as part of AFT Washington’s annual Powerful Locals conference on how to implement the resolution. One highlight of this was a walkthrough of a suggested calendar of events and actions that locals can take. This calendar is now being reworked in light of the Delta variant because in-person organizing and events no longer seem like the safest option. However, there are still things your local can get started on! CFIC is asking all faculty locals to identify 1-3 potential leaders (likely already e-board members) to start attending the statewide monthly meetings. These are held virtually on the first Saturday of every month.
Virtual advocacy this Fall
At the top of the agenda for CFIC this fall is focusing on getting a strong turnout of contingent faculty to the upcoming State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) meeting on October 20th between 1:30-3:30. During that window, contingent faculty from across the state—including in our sister union WEA—will speak to the board about how the twin storms of COVID and ctclink have negatively impacted contingent faculty and their students. We intend to provide an array of ways the SBCTC can help alleviate these woes—but first we need to hear from our membership about how COVID and ctclink have impacted them. As part of this effort, be ready to share a petition asking that SBCTC take action, complete with personalized messages from faculty to the board.
All this is to say that even though we won’t be meeting in person or kicking off our big in-person membership drives yet, there are still plenty of ways for contingent faculty to start participating more in their local unions and at the state level. We’ll also be working with locals this fall to get better data on their adjunct workforce and how to contact them, so that when it is actually safe to start in-person organizing, we’ll be ready to hit the ground running. We strongly believe that it’s time for local unions to better represent all their members and that starts with good data!
If you or an adjunct you know is ready to start advocating for adjuncts at the local and state level, or to get more information about the resolution and a toolkit for its implementation, contact Enrie Marusya (former name Irene Morrison, staff support for CFIC at email@example.com).