Adjunct and contingent faculty work hard to help students succeed. We go the extra mile, often putting in long hours to prepare for classes or mentor students. We know how demanding our jobs are – but state and federal laws protecting employees are often based on faulty assumptions about the academic workforce that systematically underestimate the long hours contingent faculty work to earn their compensation.
These faulty assumptions have serious consequences for contingent faculty. For example, coverage under the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program depends on the number of hours worked. Even salaried professional employees like adjuncts may have rights under certain wage and hour laws if they work long hours for low pay. And some employers are exploiting adjunct faculty, requiring them to work for little or no pay with few legal consequences.
That’s why we need to investigate faculty working conditions and advocate for improvements.
Help tell the full story of what’s happening in academic labor by documenting and analyzing just how much work we are doing, and reporting when we are doing it for free.
What will CAP do?
The Office Hours Project:
Hard work, including long hours, is part of making sure students succeed but for too long, part-time faculty have worked in isolation, underpaid and under-valued for their dedication.
Office Hours is a campaign to document and analyze just how much work adjuncts are doing, and if they are doing it for free.
Documenting how many hours contingent faculty dedicate to teaching a class, and if they are paid for it, is another way adjuncts can make big changes. In some cases, adjuncts at individual schools may go straight to their employers to demand accountability and an end to practices that amount to wage theft, seek reimbursements for supplies or even time off for illness. Adjuncts may also need to work together across employers, across cities and across the country to fight for better conditions for contingent faculty. Start by registering for the Office Hours Project, and then begin tracking your hours.