The City Colleges of Chicago treats adjunct faculty like full timers when it comes to workloads but pays us worse than a full time fast food worker in Chicago IL. I am the treasurer of this local of the IEA-NEA which covers seven campuses spread across the city of Chicago. Educationally City Colleges of Chicago can be compared to City University of New York (where this guy teaches Astronomy and Physics.) The WTTW , the PBS TV station in Chicago, story shown in the video below is a bit misleading and I want to expand on it.
In the four years since we have been negotiating the city colleges have spent hundreds of millions on the pet projects of top administrators (so-called Reinvention) and even given diplomas to dead people and offered to pay full timers more for “student success” rate being a certain percentage ( a bribe which I am pleased to say most full timers deride).
Pay wise- The bottom line.
City Colleges of Chicago pays me at most when teaching Physics with an MS and 30 hours, and what is called a “hard to fill course” I get the PhD rate…. 950 per contact hour. For a 3-hour course that makes 2850.
Most of the time I am teaching instead “Physical Science”which since my degree is not in “Physical Science” I get 750 per contact hour. For a 3 hour “Physical Science” I get 2250.
IF I taught Four such courses per semester and two per summer I would make $22,500 The federal poverty limit in this area is $24,300 for a family of four. The 125% of poverty level cutoff which is where most welfare benefits cut off is at $30,375. For comparison to a similarly situated college in Illinois COD would pay 30,300. COD and other colleges pay their workers a living wage.
Money isn’t everything
CCCLOC is standing for the job security and academic freedom of all adjuncts it represents to ensure that academic standards are met. Academic freedom gives instructors the latitude to teach in any way that members of a discipline feel is necessary. Job security within reasonable limits ensures that a professor exercising that academic freedom will not have to fear being summarily fired or punished. CCCLOC, the adjunct faculty union at City Colleges of Chicago, steps in to protect union members when they suffer adverse action due to a pretext.
In my own situation, the pretext was “my attire” and my mentioning being LGBT or historical scientists whose work we discussed being LGBT. Based on these student complaints which are clearly about their discomfort with having a science teacher who is transgender I was verbally disciplined then disciplined in writing. There is no dress code for faculty and CCC loves to talk about diversity which is not something limited to an anthropology or biology course.
Then I filled a charge of discrimination with the Illinois Department of Human Rights.
I then had a student complain that I talk to them like children one week. The next week the same person complained saying that since I said “please do X” that made it optional. Being bawled out for saying please after being bawled out for being too forceful was just too much. Dammed if I do and dammed if I don't so .... *&$#k that.
Being constructively dismissed I tried to resign, then the college level admins let me take it back then a week or so ago they acted like they didn’t. Now they are trying to not grieve this via our collective bargaining agreement.
This wasn’t just about me.
They tried to cut the classes of every member of the executive committee of CCCLOC that they knew of. They found a phony baloney reason to go after each of us including one person who had never had even one complaint.
There is a simple equation that governs the real value of a job (V) is directly proportional to the dollar per BS ratio. The more Bull a job gives a person the less it is valued. The more one is paid the more it is valued.
Making less than the poverty level for a job is like making less than zero dollars. So, the ratio is WAY off for working at CCC. A strike is likely, VERY likely. By my reckoning being an adjunct faculty member at CCC has a Value of way less than one.
As for the students I've described... none of my science students are going to get less than a C barring some sort of last minute massive plagiarism on their final papers which I watched them write in class. Once they realize that no quantity or kind of complaint, short of felonious criminal conduct, will lead to someone else teaching them...they do what I say. Then they realize it ain't that bad.