In spite of the times we find ourselves in, Broward College Adjuncts have taken a historic step towards self representation in the workplace. With declining enrollment and near depression-like economic conditions stacked against us, we have succeeded against the odds and reached an agreement with the administration that begins to address the issues that have impacted us as educators for far too long.
As we go to vote on our first contract in the coming weeks, we remind you this is not the beginning. It is the culmination of years of organizing our coworkers, bargaining in the midst of uncertain crises, and above all believing in the principle that we are stronger when we stand together than when we are alone.
It is also far from the end of this campaign for the rights of adjuncts in higher education. Still, these early steps towards progress at Broward College are a foundation to build on for years and decades to come. Through unity and perseverance we will continue to benefit from this union of individuals passionately committed to their coworkers, their students and the wider education community.
Below you will find some highlights of what we have accomplished together. These items are proof of our power to affect change. They are our voices and demands made real. No matter how modest our gains, they are gains nonetheless and we are proud to present them for ratification. We urge you to read them carefully and contribute to our vision of justice in the workplace through your membership and support.
- Course Cancellation Fee
No longer will we go uncompensated for our time and effort preparing classes that are abruptly cancelled. For courses reassigned to full-time faculty, adjuncts at Broward College will receive a payment of $150. This item begins to address our demand that the administration value and recognize the work we do to prepare for classroom learning. It also discourages last minute cancellations that can severely impact our ability to financially plan and ultimately make ends meet.
- Supplemental Work Opportunities
In order to stabilize pay for adjuncts in these unprecedented times we have bargained to provide additional hours outside of the classroom. These alternative work opportunities are available for adjuncts to supplement regular teaching assignments at a minimum of $22/hour. These optional assignments include critical services such as tutoring at-risk students, assisting in outreach to support college retention and graduation rates, and other work assignments that can begin to address systemic racial inequities within Florida’s higher education system.
- Fixed-term Assignments
In an important step towards job security and financial stability for adjuncts, we have bargained for “fixed-term assignments” that will guarantee 440 hours ($9,200) over Fall and Spring semesters beginning in 2021. These assignments will be offered to a minimum of 100 adjunct professors at the college, while Summer semesters will also provide fixed-terms of 330 hours ($6,900) for a minimum of 50 adjuncts. This item begins to address the inconsistency and uncertainty in which adjuncts are selected for course loads and we look forward to building on this progress in future contracts with the administration.
- Economic Reopener in 2021
With our economic situation still precarious, we have demanded the right to continue bargaining for increased compensation and assignments in one year’s time. This will allow us to reopen talks when economic conditions may be more favorable, while reinforcing our position that much more needs to be done to ensure the financial stability of adjuncts that comprise the vast majority of educators at the college.
By passing our first contract we will secure an array of rights that give us a voice in the workplace like never before. Among these include a grievance procedure that establishes a systematic and transparent process to address violations of our agreement and defend the rights of union members at Broward College. We are also entitled to bargain the impacts of any future changes that may impact our compensation or working conditions. By ratifying this first contract, we will be legally entitled to a seat at the table in critical decisions that affect operations at the college. This includes negotiations regarding the impacts of COVID-19.