WASHINGTON—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on a report released by the Democratic staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Education and the Workforce Committee detailing the working conditions of contingent faculty in higher education.
"It is outrageous that the very people who have become the backbone of the way colleges educate their students are trapped in poverty-wage jobs with few, if any, benefits, no job security, daunting workloads and little opportunity to move up. They stay on the job because of their passion for teaching, and because there is less and less of a career ladder to full-time employment. Many must rely on food stamps, and some even sell their plasma, just to make ends meet. What is especially troubling is the clear link the report makes between the exploitation of adjuncts and the quality of education that college students receive. Adjuncts do not have the time and resources they need for things like adequate class preparation and office hours. We thank Rep. George Miller and the committee for shining a light on this race to the bottom in higher education.
"Union representation is the surest way of improving adjunct working conditions. As the largest union for adjunct faculty, we are seeing more and more adjuncts uniting for a voice on the job, fair working conditions and professional development opportunities that will help them become even more successful in the classroom and transform their profession."