FAIR CONTRACT PETITION IN HONOR OF SUE MILLER
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To be delivered to the Columbia College Chicago
Board of Directors
Students are the essential members of ONEColumbia. Naturally, we expect executive leadership to value the faculty and staff who are dedicated to serving them. Adjuncts comprise 77% of CCC’S teaching staff. We are dedicated and hardworking. We love what we do. Some of us have taught here for 30 years. To be marginalized by the executive leadership as “seasonal employees in a department store” is an affront to all of ONEColumbia. Columbia’s student-centered mission includes diversity, innovative learning programs, experienced faculty, and other best practices. Inconsistent with this mission is the pedagogically unsound practice of replacing long-serving adjunct faculty with inexperienced, less expensive instructors, including first year graduate student instructors (GSIs). After only one “preparation” course, GSI’s have received as many as two class assignments per semester while senior adjuncts got only one, and in some cases, none. This is in addition to curriculum changes that affect assignments, for which the NLRB has recently cited the college, and other harm caused by Prioritization. In a reversal of previous agreements, CCC executive administration recently stated its “right to evaluate adjunct faculty at any time, for any reason.” This means the unchecked power to discipline, suspend, or discharge a teacher without due process or regard for professional ethics. For three years adjunct faculty have reasonably asked for very basic rights -- fair evaluation process, paid leave for professional development, personal/sick day bank, health care, and continuity of assignments. These requests are not outrageous, radical demands. Students deserve an environment of best practices. This includes the fair and respectful treatment of their instructors. As ONEColumbia, it’s our mission to provide it.