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'For some faculty, a drastic cut in pay'

Last modified: 12/7/2010 12:00:00 AM
Over the past few days New Hampshire community college adjunct faculty have learned that the senior leadership team of the Community College System of New Hampshire has decided to limit them to nine credit hours per semester. This means an adjunct - generally a person with a master's degree and often with a family - may earn no more than $8,154 to $12,168 per year with no health insurance and no retirement plan.

More than 500 adjuncts teach at the seven community college campuses, more than 60 percent of the teaching faculty. For some this cuts their income by more than half. For many this is their only income. This abrupt policy change is being imposed without consultation with those whose livelihood is threatened. In many courses, experienced, respected instructors will be replaced by newly recruited adjuncts.

I support a union of adjunct faculty because if there were a union today, the administration would not be allowed to change this or any labor practice except through negotiation and ratification by the adjunct faculty members. What they are doing could not happen!

Over the years many community college adjunct faculty representing all seven campuses have asked the SEIU if they could have a union similar to the one on which fulltime faculty depend. Finally an organizing campaign is under way. If the union is certified quickly enough, we have a fair chance of rolling back this policy change. I urge adjunct faculty to sign a card now.

JACK HUTCHINSON

Deerfield

(The writer is a professor at NHTI in Concord.)


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