Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Welcome to 2013; Now its time to fight back!

Dear adjuncts,
Welcome to Spring Semester 2013!  We hope you had a restful break.
During every beginning of semester, each of us face late pay, cancelled classes, small paychecks (if we get them), overcrowded classrooms, and all kinds of other unplesant surprises.  This semester we're committed to fighting them so we start next semester with the respect we deserve and the compensation we need.

We hope to see you at our first open meeting of the year, on Tuesday January 29 at 5 PM in the Faculty Lounge 8 Floor HW
We want to talk about all the things below, plus meet new adjuncts.  Also, if you haven't already, fill out our survey; the whole thing or just a part.

Planning for this semesterThis meeting we want to focus on planning for the semester.Concretely, we will have at least two open meetings a month, one that is a social hour!  We want to have a more regular presence too, and have a few ideas about how to make our importance known...

Finally, did you lose a class the end of last semester? Are you waiting on wages?  Are you pissed off that you only know you have health insurance til April, or that you don't have it all?  These seem like individual problems, but they're not.  If you're facing lost wages, retaliation, loss of classes, or any other problem that your department tells you just to "deal with" bring it to us!  We know that working together is the only way to get what we need to teach and live; not by simply filing individual grievances, speaking out as an individual to management, and of course not by being silent.

New Survey
We got a good number of responses to the survey, but are sending out a new version for those of you who might have been overwhelmed.  We got the idea to include a short version of the survey on the first page...take a look!  And you can still fill out the full survey.  We were thinking about the 2010 AFT survey, here, which surveyed 500 adjuncts across the country...Can we get more than them?

Also, people wrote in a lot of great ideas for how to organize...including getting all of us together for a walk-out or strike, forming our own organization outside of the union, and getting together with other workers.  People wanted things like health insurance guaranteed, one-year contracts, smaller class sizes, and higher pay!  What else do we need?  How can we get it?

City-wide strugglesEarlier this month, Amalgamated Transit Union local 1181 called a strike of bus drivers and bus matrons (the people--mostly women--who ride on buses with children who have special needs).  The drivers and matrons are still on strike, and they are being threatened with losing their job security and wage provisions, which were won in a wildcat (illegal/non-union sanctioned) strike in 1979.  Bus matrons in particular, like adjuncts, are mostly women and perform very difficult caring work for not very high wages.  One thing the drivers and matrons are lacking right now is a strong group of rank and file workers,  The union might fold soon, with or without wins for the workers.

Adjunct ResourcesFinally, we want to point to adjuncts organizing all over the country.  This newsletter we are focusing on the adjunct project, kind of a national version of the survey we did: http://www.adjunctproject.com/

Hope to see you all Tuesday.  And feel free to send off the survey to adjuncts you know at other colleges.

In struggle,
Hunter Teaches

For more analysis and info, visit adjunctsforliberation.blogspot.com, and/or email hunter.teaches@gmail.com!  if you wish to receive emails more frequently, let us know and we can add you to our announcements google group!

**Hunter Teaches is a group of adjuncts and GTFs at Hunter, operating completely autonomously from any political party or union.  We have no affiliation with the PSC or any caucus group. **

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Adjunct New Year and Survey!

Dear Hunter Adjuncts and GTF’s,

**We will be meeting again the second day of the semester, January 29th, time TBD!  Save the date!**

**We also have a new mailing list for announcements that will be sent more frequently!  Email hunter.teaches@gmail.com if you want to be added!**

Notes from end of year meeting!

At our last meeting at the end of the semester, adjuncts from six different departments met and talked about our feelings of isolation, our working conditions, and our job security.  We realized that we shared a lot of common experiences, but also were surprised to learn about policies in other departments.  We decided that documenting our conditions, the contradictions in the university, and charting our commonalities was a really beneficial way of having conversations, and also making plans of action and demands.

Adjunct and GTF Solidarity Survey
We decided the best way to start a process of collecting information was to create a survey of questions we asked each other at out meeting.  We are trying to collect as many surveys as possible, and publish a collection of answers anonymously  in a newsletter in January, and also to the Hunter newspaper (“The Envoy”).  We would also love suggestions for any more creative things to do with the surveys.

We ask that if you are comfortable, you leave your information so we can contact you (and not for any other use); if not we are more than happy to accept anonymous answers!  All questions are optional, but answer as many as you can, and are interested in.  Because this is done in a “google form” we will not see your information unless you tell us, and even then it will not be shared beyond other adjuncts working on this project.

 You can access the survey here!

**Hunter Teaches is a group of adjuncts and GTFs at Hunter, operating completely autonomously from any political party or union.  We have no affiliation with the PSC or any caucus group. **