Mesa College hosts adjunct action rally

Joshua Edler Davis, Staff Writer

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In honor and support of adjunct professors, the American Federation of Teachers hosted its fifth annual Mesa College Adjunct Action Day Rally. Adjunct professors are part-time professors who must teach multiple courses on multiple campuses to receive equal pay compared to their full-time counterparts.

The importance of this event isn’t only for the adjunct professors but for their students. Adjunct professors are independent contractors that are responsible for their own travel. These professors have no offices, no benefits and no phones supplied by the school.

Adjunct professor Jeff Johnson relieved a story of the time he was on Southwestern College’s campus during an active shooting warning. He stated that he didn’t receive the warning text and that one of his students had to warn him.

The rally was held to promote legislation that will forgive student loans, give paid maternity leave, and lift the adjunct cap from 67% to 85%. The adjunct cap limits the amount of courses professors are allowed to teach on each campus. Raising the cap will give professors more free time and time with students.

One of the major issues that plagues the adjunct professors is the travel between campuses. Many of the speakers during the rally detailed times where they picked their professions over their spouses, and young children.

If a female adjunct were to become pregnant and need to go on maternity leave she would have to forfeit her classes, and her pay. AB 500 is the name of the bill that would allow female adjuncts to receive maternity leave. This would resolve one issue but there would be no guarantee that her job will be waiting for her when she returns.

There is no difference in the qualifications between full-time and part-time professors, but the difference in pay and benefits is staggering. Payscale.com reports the average pay for adjunct professors is $31,357 annually. While the U.S. Board of Labor Statistics reports that the annual salary for a full time professor would be around $75,000.

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Mesa College hosts adjunct action rally