Los Angeles Times Editorial Board
Los Angeles Times
As higher education hires more adjuncts, it also relies on them more. Colleges and universities can’t fulfill their teaching mission without them — which gives part-timers more power, if they choose to use it.
The plight of academic adjuncts, those Ph.D's working full-time at low wages, no benefits and little job security, viewed not just as prototypical exploited gig workers and units of flexibility but also as an advanced contingent of union activists.
Adjunct professors make $18,000 to $30,000 for the equivalent of full-time work; compared to tenure track professors, who earn $68,000 to $116,000 (plus benefits), according to the American Association of University Professors.
Only three in 10 professors are tenured today, down from six in 10 in the 1970s. Recently, frustrations over the plight of adjuncts have boiled over in congressional hearings, online petitions and a two-day walkout at the University of Illinois.
The members of the University of Illinois Chicago, have voted to go on strike after fifteen months of negotiations. Among the faculty members key demands are improvements in pay for adjunct professors.
In light of Congress planning to fail to extend unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed, we present Daniel Kahn and the Painted Bird's video of "March of the Jobless Corps".