Thursday, May 27, 2010

Adjunct gathering and march to the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit is building!

It'll be a breathless moment in Detroit on June 22, as Adjuncts from across Michigan and beyond begin gathering at the corner of Woodward and Warren, on Wayne State's main campus. We've had a long history of being "divided and conquered:" now it's time for getting our act together and making some headway as a collective labor force!

Thanks to Vanessa with New Faculty Majority for the image above of the event flyer currently being circulated. PDF files of this flyer and another, printer-friendly version of it, are available at Click on the Social Forum links for for these documents and a letter that describes both the march in more detail, and the Adjunct issues Workshop that is also sponsored by UPTFduring the Social Forum (on June 23).

Please circulate this info far and wide -- "We" can make progress together! Questions? Email Raye at for more info.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Faculty Majority takes on campaign to promote unemployment benefits for Adjuncts!

Here's an issue that couldn't be more timely and sorely needed! Click here to find out more about this very important campaign effort. Thanks, NFM!

Monday, May 24, 2010

UPTF sponsors Adjunct march to U.S. Social Forum: Here's a chance to be "Invisible No More!"

Wayne State's UPTF-AFT Local 477 is inviting Adjuncts everywhere to descend upon Detroit on the opening day of the U.S. Social Forum (June 22-26) and march together as one unit from Wayne State to the event site at Cobo Hall. Unionized/Non-unionized, part-time or full-time -- bring your banners, placards, buttons, show your colors--be prepared to make some noise and rally around some important causes. There are so many challenges to higher education--and our always shaky job security--that there's no better time to show our support for each other and for students than now.

More info is available at -- click on the Social Forum links for a letter and flyer describing the march.

The UPTF is also sponsoring a USSF workshop on June 23, at 1-3 p.m., entitled: "Voice for the Voiceless: Organizing Part-Time Faculty in Higher Education." It'll be a great opportunity to sit down together, share ideas and support each others' efforts. See (same letter/flyer) for more.

For general U.S. Social Forum info, see

Please pass the word along to your colleagues, networks, etc...the Social Forum is shaping up to be a unique opportunity for planting seeds of change and tackling today's big issues--just the atmosphere we need to raise awareness of Adjunct issues. I'll be happy to answer any questions I can -- hope to see you there!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Plain talk from Randi Weingarten and more, at the AFT-Michigan Convention

We educators can either take charge of the "reform" that's needed in education, or the "reformistas" will do it for us and continue scapegoating teachers (especially unionized teachers!) for everything from state budget shortfalls to the weather outside. Not a quote, this sums up the message AFT National president, Randi Weingarten delivered at today's AFT-Michigan Convention here in Detroit. She reminded us very artfully that the catchy rallying cry, "Education reform!" has become the euphemism for balancing budgets on the backs of teachers and the public education system, in general. None of this budget balancing is happening with an eye toward what students need, she pointed out -- those needs just won't be met, and teachers will probably be blamed for the grim consequences of that neglect, too.

The controversy over the Obama administration's "Race to the Top" program lives on, and isn't likely to die down any time soon. A contingent of very committed delegates from the Detroit Federation of Teachers did their level best to pass resolutions that would call this program what it is largely perceived to be --  a ploy to bust teacher unions and privatize public education, but Weingarten, Michigan's top AFT officers and most of the delegates blocked their efforts. Since RTTT has already been signed into Michigan law, the consensus seems to be that we should support those who are working with Arne Duncan to tweak RTTT into a more acceptable, less damaging program. Some of the opposing delegates have already been handed pink slips; others will wait out the long summer debate over the fate of Detroit Public Schools, under the leadership of emergency financial manager, Robert Bobb. In any case, it's not a pretty situation, and Weingarten, Hecker and others issued a challenge to all who care for public education to speak up this summer. There will be lots of campaigns, events, etc...more to come, soon!

Monday, May 3, 2010

"When Adjunct Faculty are Treated Unfairly, We Care! -- Your help is needed to get this message out!

As promised in an earlier post, postcards with the important message above are now printed and ready for use, and your help is needed!

Here's what the front of the card looks like:

The back of the card provides space for people to fill in their names, organization (if any) and city/state, and says: The quality of American Higher Education is at stake!...Please support fair treatment for America's Adjunct faculty!

Surely, together we can get the message out this summer--at conferences, conventions, meetings, rallies, union events, etc.--and flood the decision makers with our show of solidarity across the nation.

If you are willing to help get this "We Care" message out, just contact Raye at and let us know how many batches of 50 you'd like. Please provide your shipping information and we will be glad to send them out asap.

A couple small suggestions: you might find people more receptive to signing the cards if you provide address information for specific targets -- ie. for President Obama, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Congress members, State legislatures, university administrations, etc. All of these addresses are easily accessible on various Web sites. Post card postage is 28 cents per standard-sized card (like this one) these days. If postage poses an obstacle for your signers, the cards can be bundled together and sent out in one package, for less than per/card postage. Hand-addressing each card, or applying mailing labels is then optional. 

Together we can get the word out that Adjuncts deserve a better deal! Thanks so much!