AFT Resolution

CALLING FOR DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION STUDY OF ADJUNCT/CONTINGENT PAY AND BENEFIT INEQUITY

WHEREAS, adjunct/contingent faculty comprise 73 percent of all higher education faculty (AAUP), which is the majority of U.S. higher education faculty, and a critical and essential force for learning; and

WHEREAS, adjunct/contingent faculty possess the same teaching credentials and teach alongside tenure-track faculty without the benefits tenure-track faculty are given, including: job security, paid livable wages, access to employer healthcare, and a robust retirement plan; and

WHEREAS, 41 percent of adjunct/contingent faculty reported they struggle with job security,[1] not knowing whether they have a teaching position only days before the start of a new given term; and

WHEREAS, 25 percent of these faculty rely on some form of public assistance, and 40 percent struggle to meet monthly household needs[2]; and

WHEREAS, over two-thirds of adjunct/contingent faculty make less than $50,000 per year, and one-third make less than $25,000 per year, which is below the poverty level for a family of four; and

WHEREAS, less than one-half of adjunct/contingent faculty have access to employer-provided healthcare during a time of a global, nationwide pandemic; and

WHEREAS, most adjunct/contingent faculty are over the age of 50, and 37 percent do not know how they will manage during retirement[3]; and

WHEREAS, such widespread academic inequity must be called out, and measures taken to address it; and

WHEREAS, once called out, the appropriate measures to address this inequity, to the true fullest extent possible must be engaged:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers directly request the U.S. Department of Education to fully investigate, by use of a national study, the plight of adjunct/contingent faculty and the severe inequities of pay and overall benefits they endure as the majority workforce as U.S. higher ed faculty, and publish the results of said study.

(July 15, 2022)


[1] 2019 AFT report “An Army of Temps”

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

 

(2022)

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