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Adjunct faculty in the U.S. and Canada
this is a wonderful article. As an American
adjunct from Washington State, I have admired
the Vancouver Community College workplace
for over a decade and believe that it should be
held up as the model to be emulated in the
United States. While VCC does deserve recognition for its treatment of faculty, I believe many
of the same workplace provisions, such as a single pay scale and regularization, are in place at
other B.C. institutions whose faculty are represented by the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of British Columbia.
One feature about VCC is its system of
seniority, accrued by both full-time and part-time instructors. At VCC, there are part-timers
who hold more seniority than full-timers, which
is unheard of in the U.S., where contingents
rarely accrue meaningful seniority.
I agree with Leslie Jermyn’s affirmation that
the key issue is job security. Part of our problem
in the U.S. is that we activists don’t have a single
clear goal to reform our dysfunctional bifurcated
system. I think job security, as the antithesis of
contingency, should be the goal and agree with
Leslie that “Its absence is profound.” As a goal,
one advantage job security offers is that it does
not make a major budget impact.
Frank Cosco, president of the faculty association at Vancouver Community College, mentions the “trade-off” in the VCC approach of
scrutiny of instructors during the probationary
stages of their employment and job security. A
thorough review of new faculty does ease doubts
about conferring the job security that regularization offers. It also reflects that the concern for
quality is more than rhetoric.
Once again, thank you for this piece.
Dr. Longmate is an adjunct English instructor at Olympic College
in Bremerton, Washington.
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