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1 of 14 Education Policy Analysis Archives Volume 9 Number 41October 8, 2001ISSN 1068-2341 A peer-reviewed scholarly journal Editor: Gene V Glass, College of Education Arizona State University Copyright 2001, the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES Permission is hereby granted to copy any article if EPAA is credited and copies are not sold. Articles appearing in EPAA are abstracted in the Current Index to Journals in Education by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation and are permanently archived in Resources in Education .Is Washington State an Unlikely Leader? Progress on Addressing Contingent Work Issues in Ac ademia Daniel Jacoby University of Washington, BothellCitation: Jacoby, D. (2001, October 8). Is Washingt on State an Unlikely Leader? Progress on Addressing Contingent Work Issues in Academia. Education Policy Analysis Archives 9 (41). Retrieved [date] from http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v9n4 1/.Abstract Higher education workers in Washington State are c hallenging the use of contingent academic labor. This article exam ines data and policies relevant to the state's reliance upon part-time fac ulty in community colleges. Data from the State Board for Community a nd Technical Colleges is juxtaposed with results from a survey c ompleted by 20% of the part-time faculty in 14 community colleges to s how that most do not work part-time by choice. The quantitative analysis underlies a subsequent examination of legislative and court sol utions pursued in Washington State. Despite significant spending cons traints, the state shows signs of being in the national vanguard as it addresses contingent academic labor issues.
2 of 14 College and university educators in Washington Stat e are stepping up their resistance to belt-tightening measures that increas e reliance upon contingent academic labor. While results thus far are mixed, several si gns suggest that the state is on the cutting edge the issue. Positive omens include the passage of a state initiative that provides cost of living adjustments for kindergarte n through community college teachers, a 20 million dollar state down-payment th at reduces the part-time community college teacher wage gap, a court challenge against the exclusion of part-time instructors from benefits, and, a state plan to increase the nu mber of full-time faculty lines at community colleges. These initiatives constitute a ray of light on the otherwise darkened landscape of higher education. This article will first highlight the state contex t in which faculty concerns have risen. Having laid that groundwork, I report on the parameters within which contingent academic work now occurs within the state's communi ty colleges. Next the discussion turns to how part-timers have mobilized and the eff ect they have had on policy. The article concludes by examining some of the challeng es in the immediate future.A Financial Outlook on Higher Education in Washingt on State Washington's higher education faculty has become m ore assertive as the severity of restraints on state funding for education has in creased. Washington's perennial fiscal crises have been compounded by unorthodox fiscal co nstraints. The state is one of eight that have no income tax. Additionally, under Initia tive 601, passed in 1994, expenditures were capped to grow no faster than population and i nflation combined. Because the educational constituency has grown faster than thes e limits, officials find themselves trying to fund higher education on the cheap. That the community college system forms the bedroc k of the state's higher education infrastructure is symptomatic of these fi nancial difficulties. During 1999-2000 there were approximately 125,000 state-funded fulltime equivalent community college students [FTE]. By contrast, the four-year colleges enrolled only 28,000 state-funded freshmen and sophomores, along with 41,000 addition al undergraduates at the upper division level. The difference in lower and upper c lassman at the four-year schools is partly made up by the annual inflow of approximatel y 11,000 new transfer students from the community colleges each year. Given state data indicating 27% of community college entrants (87, 500 students by headcount as opposed to FTE) intend to transfer to a four year institution, it is evident that the vas t majority of students intending to complete a bachelors degree begin their higher educ ation in Washington State via the two-year college system (SBCTC, 2000A). The funding formulas for higher education are a li kely factor accounting for this pattern. The State Board for Community and Technica l College's [SBCTC] 2001-03 biennium budget request makes the case that communi ty colleges receive less than four thousand dollars in state funding per student compa red to regional institutions, where per student funding is approximately five and one h alf thousand. Funding differentials are exacerbated by the state's recent policy shift enabling colleges to retain their own tuition dollars. Thus, in addition to the $1,500 di fference in general fund revenue, tuition disparities increase the shortfall in per student s pending at the community colleges to a figure between $2,500 and $3,500 (SBCTC 2000B). Washington State community colleges, like those al most everywhere else, have consistently been under-funded relative to their fo ur-year peers. The lower funding formula was one of the attractions of building out the community college system in the early 1970s. Although five new upper division campu ses were inaugurated in 1990 in
3 of 14order to encourage students to complete their bache lor degrees, coordination has been difficult and upper level enrollment growth much sl ower than anticipated. The "seamless education" that was the talk of the 90s has clearly not patched the system together. One consequence is that the state is ranked 46th in the nation in the production of four-year degree holders. As if panaceas like "seamless education" were not bankrupt enough, in 1997 Governor Locke advanced the idea of the "virtual un iversity." Expansion of brick and mortar education was declared financially infeasibl e and in its place he proposed on-line distance education as a substitute to accommodate i ncreased enrollment. Patterned after the now financially plagued Western Governors Unive rsity, Locke's proposal quickly generated opposition at the University of Washingto n as 600 faculty signed petitions rejecting the idea. But financial pressures continu e. Within the University of Washington, the cause of contingent academic worker s caught hold and teaching assistants organized to demand their own union in t he Spring of 2000. In the fall, the Faculty Senate closed ranks behind the TA's and ask ed the administration to recognize their union. UW President McCormick took the bold s tep of reversing a long-held administration policy and announced an agreement in which the TA's and the University would jointly approach the legislature to request e nabling legislation establishing a framework under which TA bargaining rights will be established and negotiations be conducted. However, when the state legislature fail ed to pass the legislation the University refused to grant exclusive bargaining ri ghts to the TA s. The teaching assistants went out on strike during the June final exams and vow to jumpstart their campaign again next year. Statewide faculty demands for higher wages continu e to heat up the issue of union bargaining rights at four-year colleges and u niversities. Despite the absence of state enabling legislation, a faculty union at East ern Washington has now operated successfully for several years. However, at Central Washington University the issue has also been raised but amiable relations appear dista nt. Some University of Washington professors continue to press for enabling legislati on, but the future of such legislation is now linked to the standoff with the teaching assist ants at the institution. Even with all these issues percolating, it is among the part-time faculty at the state's community colleges that the most inequitable situations exist Failing to rally forces around an anti-601 initiat ive, the Washington Educational Association sponsored, and the Washington Federatio n of Teachers ultimately endorsed, a citizen's referendum which guaranteed teachers fr om Kindergarten through Community College raises in line with the cost of l iving. In a statewide election the referendum passed overwhelmingly. Unfortunately, th at stopgap measure complicated the task of closing the pay differential between pa rt-timers and full-timers because it reduced the pot of money to be spent raising part-t ime salaries. In June and July of 2001 the governor extended the legislative season with t hree special sessions to break the deadlocks surrounding budget issues. Despite the bu dget wrangling, part-timers have corralled another 7.5 dollars from the legislature to help close their pay gap.The Part-time Issue in Washington's Community Colle ges Washington State is a leader in community college education. Whether that is something to brag about depends upon what you look at. The state's faculty is among the most creative in developing new models of teaching. With help from the Washington Center for the Improvement of Undergraduate Educati on, the state's community college
4 of 14system has successfully championed learning communi ties in which questions are investigated using teams of faculty from different disciplines. In another show of quality, President Clinton touted one of Shoreline Community College's job training programs as a national model. In these and other areas the stat e's community colleges demonstrate drive and originality. Lurking beyond these positiv e images are the problems created by inequities in faculty employment. A May 2000 report from the National Center for Edu cational Statistics makes clear that the pattern of part-time employment in W ashington is not unique. According to their national survey, sixty two percent of the 255,000 instructional faculty and staff working in the nation's two-year schools were emplo yed part-time. Because part-timers averaged less than half the course load taught by f ull time teachers (2.1 courses per semester vs. 4.5), part-time faculty instructed rou ghly 43 per cent of the systems students (NCES, May 2000, pp. 39 and 78). Washington SBCTC d ata places the state almost dead even with this national average. While the use of part-timers in Washington accelerated in the early 1990s, that increase has p ractically halted (Best Practices Task Force, 1996). (Note 1) Since 1995 the percentage of part-timers has risen less than 1%. It appears likely that lobbying by part-timers was a f actor in changing the trajectory of part-time employment. The magnitude of part-time faculty participation i n the instruction of community college undergraduates forced the 1996 Best Practic es Task Force to admit that the adjunct system had been abused. Hiring exceeded the level which could be justified educationally: "[B]udget reductions, increased enro llment that is not fully funded, and similar requirements to 'do more with less' all cre ate a powerful incentive for colleges to employ adjunct faculty for purely economic reasons-to deliver needed services within available budgets" (Best Practices, 1996, p 4). The incidence of part-time faculty is uneven acros s the community college system. Some colleges find ways to hire more full t ime faculty, just as some programs within colleges are less deeply affected. Overall, rural colleges are less dependent on adjuncts, largely because they find it difficult to recruit them. Likewise, technical colleges, where job training predominates, are staf fed almost entirely by full-time instructors. The use of part-timers is most disproportionate wi thin the Basic Skills area, particularly in English as a Second Language [ESL] courses. Part-time instructors taught slightly over 69% of the FTE course-load in Basic S kills courses throughout the state system. Humanities, where part-time instructors tau ght 48% of the courses, occupied second place. In only three of eight broad classifi cations were fewer than 40% of courses taught by part-timers: These divisions include Mech anics and Engineering 25%; Social Sciences 36%; and Science 37%. Table 1 demonstrates that the proportion of classe s taught by full-timers rises substantially when we remove the roughly 15% of cla sses taught during the evening, off the main campus, and those relying on non-state fun ds. One may justify this exclusion under the assumption that these are the arenas in w hich the "flexibility" of a part-time faculty is necessary. This exercise reduces the inc idence of part-time instruction from 43% to 30% of FTE class instruction. However, break ing down totals by division continues to reveal the same patterns of part-time employment: The three divisions in most dependent upon part-time employment are, in de scending order: Basic Skills (50%), Humanities (39%), and Math (33%).Table 1
5 of 14 Use of Part-timers in Washington State, Fall 1999(For All Courses On-campus, Day, State Funds)Academic Area PT FTECourses Taught Total FTECourses Taught PT FTECourses Taught Total FTECourses Taught Basic Skills391.03563.5181.78161.95 69.39%50.50% Business,Data 357.88871.51136.48535.04 Processing41.06%25.51%Humanities596.021232.88351.41898.97 48.34%39.09% Math217.22493.76120.99360.39 43.99%33.57% Mechanical152.94603.358.83424.78Engineering25.35%13.85%PublicService 477.251110.22207.4689.82 42.99%30.07% Science145.9394.0466.23279.12 37.03%23.73% SocialScience 157.13434.1375.96300.27 36.19%25.30% Totals2495.375703.351099.083650.34 43.75%30.11%Source: Compiled from Washington State Board for Co mmunity and Technical Colleges Data. To learn more about part-timers preferences and wo rk history, the Washington Federation of Teachers surveyed faculty at 14 of th e institutions at which it is the bargaining representative. Surveys were given to un ion representatives to distribute to all part-timers on their campuses. Five hundred fifty f ive separate surveys were returned. While the method of distribution and collection lea ves open the probability of sample bias, these surveys provide a legitimate basis to d raw conclusions when appropriate qualifications are noted. Statistical results must be regarded as suggestive, not as precise population estimates. In anticipation of the survey results, it is helpf ul to examine potential sources of bias. Surveys were distributed through campus mailb oxes. However, some part-timers do not have mailboxes, while others do not teach at the central campus of their institution and may not have been reached. Although campus leaders at some colleges made a concerted effort to exhort their part-timers to return the surveys, at other
6 of 14 campuses surveys were returned on a more casual bas is. It is important to determine whether the returned surveys constitute a representative cross section of faculty at the coll eges. In Table 3, we can see that some of the 8 major disciplinary categories used by the Sta te Board to define subject area, such as Basic Skills and Humanities, are significantly o ver-represented. Responses in the Sciences and Social Sciences, however, more closely reflect the distribution of faculty by those areas. Given the varied response rates, it is probable that the survey as a whole is biased toward faculty more aggrieved by part-tim e issues. Thus, results are best interpreted as indicating the direction of change o f employment concerns as specific variables change.Table 2 Number and Percentage of Returns from Washington St ate Community CollegesCollege*Prime1Affiliation % Headcount2Total3% Centralia1411%1282116%Edmonds8128%29410636%Everett3216%1963920%Peninsula2517%1492617%Pierce County288%3433410%Seattle Central4413%3285717%Seattle North3110%3034816%Seattle South239%2673413%Shoreline6522%2949332%Skagit Valley3719%1954825%South Puget3824%1604729%Tacoma College3513%2694918%Whatcom4529%1574730%Yakima Valley2514%1822614%Overall52316%326567521%1Faculty assigned to schools according to their stat ed primary affiliation 2Percentages are calculated using state data for Fal l 1999 as shown. These data are for all Part-time faculty, including those on contract funding, teach ing at night or on other campuses. 3Calculated using all data from faculty who taught a t school, regardless whether they identified this is primary affiliation. It is appropriate to g roup responses by college when looking for college wide information but because some faculty taught at more than one campus, both the state's total of 3265 faculty and the survey total of 675 involve do uble counts. *Only colleges with total response rate in excess of 10% included.
7 of 14 The survey was designed to provide information on two primary concerns. First the survey intended to gage whether part-time facul ty prefer greater levels of employment. Second, the survey was designed to perm it an investigation into categories that might help us understand those preferences.Table 3 Distribution of Faculty by Academic Field of Employ ment Clearly, not all part-timers desire full-time empl oyment. However, the WFT survey indicates that 50% did, while an additional 18% said they wanted more work than they have presently secured through their community college jobs. The percentage of those reporting dissatisfaction is thus very large. Table 4 indicates that the majority of faculty rep orted they were either the only wage earner in their family, or that that teaching was the primary source of their income. Fully 59% (n=505) of the individuals surveyed repor ted that part-time teaching was the primary source of their personal income. Additional ly, 34% (n=174) reported that their earnings were the only source of income in their ho usehold. Within the 27% (n=136) of respondents who reported their community college te aching as both the only source of income in their household and as their primary sour ce of income, nearly 84% said they wanted more work (n=21) or full-time work (n=114). Preferences for full time work were also higher when individuals were the only bre adwinners in their household (63% compared to 50% among all survey respondents), and also when earnings from teaching were the primary source of individual income (also 63%). Thus a sizable group indicated that community college income contributed significa ntly to their livelihood and, among these, the majority indicated a desire for addition al employment. Table 5 indicates that faculty prepared in traditi onal disciplines within the arts and sciences rely more heavily upon their part-time teaching income, at least as indicated by their relative preference for full-tim e or increased work. Thus, survey results show that 85% of social science, 76% of hum anities, and 74% of science faculty prefer more work than they presently have. By contr ast, those serving in non-traditional academic areas, such as Public Service or Business, are somewhat less likely to seek greater teaching employment. Mathematicians, curiou sly, appear to fall outside the expectations for traditional arts and science facul ty.Table 4 Sources of Household Income
8 of 14 Source: WFT Survey Responses were to the following questions: 1) Is t his your primary source of income? 2) Is yours the only source of income in your household? The final point to note is that many of the facult y appear to have adjusted to this system as best they can. Those faculty who want to work full-time reported that they taught an average of 3.33 classes in the Fall quart er of 1999. Within this group, those who identified themselves as depending primarily up on their community college earnings averaged 3.46 classes per quarter. By cont rast, those who indicated that they were satisfied with their teaching load reported an average of 2.17 class per quarter. The SBCTC, on the other hand, reports that average work loads are lower, and that only 45% of part-time faculty taught more than one course in fall 1997. While sample bias may account for some of this difference, the SBCTC figu res, too, are biased reflections of overall teaching duties because they omit courses t hat were not state funded or that were outside the community college system altogether (SB CTC, Research Report 98-4). There is interest in the phenomenon known as the freeway flyer," in which part-time teachers work at more than one campus to make ends meet. Some 248 of survey respondents reported teaching at two or more institutions. Among these, 90 said they taught at three or more colleges. This finding is at odds with SBCTC data indicating only 27 persons statewide taught at thre e or more colleges. It also casts doubt on the state's conclusion that only 291 faculty sys temwide taught at two campuses. The discrepancy may be explained in two ways. First, th e state's analysis was not designed to verify employment at private institutions, nor at f our-year schools. Second, in addition to listing schools at which they were currently teachi ng, individuals in the WFT survey may have responded to the question by citing instit utions at which they had recently taught. The state board, by contrast, using in-hous e date data could restrict its analysis to a single quarter. Thus the State Board concludes th at freeway flyers constitute 13% of the part-time faculty, whereas the WFT survey sugge sts that employment at multiple campuses is more common, especially when considered over longer employment periods. The WFT survey means the part-time faculty travels more, teaches more, and spends more time job searching then is generally ap preciated. The educational consequences of these patterns have not been adequa tely studied.Table 5 Preference for More Employment Teaching by FieldEmployment FieldWant Full Time Want MoreWork Content% Want More Basic Skills54 (46%)23 (20%)37 (32%)67%Business, Data etc19 (36%)14 (27%)18 (35%)63%Humanities97 (61%)25 (16%)33 (21%)76%
9 of 14 Mathematics21 (40%)4 (8%)26 (50%)48%Mechanics/Eng'rg4 (50%)1 (13%)3 (37.5%) 63% Public Service25 (33%)19 (25%)28 (37%)58%Science20 (57%)6 (17%)8 (23%)74%Social Science20 (74%)3 (11%)4 (15%)85% Source: WFT Survey The main findings derived from the WFT survey are not controversial. Clearly, Washington State relies very heavily upon part-time faculty, and officials themselves believe that this reliance is greater than is educa tionally justifiable. In investigating the problem, the State has reached the conclusion that it is important to reduce this reliance. The WFT's data suggests that, if anything, the Stat e still underestimates the extent of the problem. From the vantagepoint of the part-time fac ulty member there is much to be gained by improving employment security. To the ext ent that adverse employment and working conditions affect the community colleges, a point which the State has conceded, the education students receive at community college s will be advanced by converting some part-time faculty positions into full-time pos ition and by improving the compensation package for part-timers.Organizing Part-timers in Washington Policy in Washington State has clearly been influe nced by a number of campaigns on behalf of part-time community college faculty. O ne result, noted earlier, is that in opposition to the national trend involving an incre ased reliance upon part-time faculty, in Washington that trend has been ended. In additio n, pay and benefit conditions are being raised, albeit at an inadequate pace. Much of the state's progress traces directly back to two legislative decisions begun in 1995 and 1996. In 1995 the state redefined its unemployment laws to establish the eligibility of p art-time faculty for unemployment compensation. Second, and perhaps more important, t he legislature inaugurated a Best Practices Task Force regarding part-time instructio n. This task force was the legislature's response to agitation by part-timers that dates back, at least, to the early eighties. It wasn't un til 1990s, under Susan Levy's leadership, that the Washington Federation of Teachers, serious ly began to champion the part-time cause. This transition became even more pronounced when the WFT employed Wendy Rader-Konofalski, a former part-timer, as the WFT l egislative representative in Olympia. Working through the union, Rader-Konofalsk i succeeded in getting legislative priority for the issue. In significant measure the WFT was spurred on by Keith Hoeller and the Washington Association of Part-Time Faculty [WAPFAC]. This advocacy group worked independently, creating a second fulcrum upo n which to pry open state policy. Through direct lobbying and publicity WAPFAC mainta ined pressure on both the legislature and the WFT, ensuring that the part-tim e issue did not die in intramural union politics. Together Rader-Konofalski and Hoeller--pe rhaps unwittingly--created an inside/outside strategy that kept everyone on their toes. Although disagreements have at times surfaced, WFT and WAPFAC's successor, the Was hington Part-Time Faculty Association have worked more closely in recent year s to good effect. The two organizations have succeeded in forging al liances with the Worker Center, King County's Labor Council, Seattle Union Now, the University of
10 of 14Washington's Labor Center, and the Center for a Cha nging Workplace. Together, these groups create visibility for the permatemp and cont ingent labor force issue. Over the long haul, it has been the efforts of rank and file part-timers that successfully muscled the state into appointing its Best Practices Task F orce. The Task Force established a foundation for continued legislative action by offi cially recognizing the abuses inherent in the part-time system and acknowledging that thes e abuses arose as the consequence of financial pressures. While the limited use of parttimers could be justified in low demand disciplines, in fields were scarce expertise is needed, or even when colleges can not flexibly respond to scheduling needs with their existing full-time faculty, the Task Force acknowledged that part-time staffing had gone beyond these rationales. The Task Force found fault with a the part-time em ployment system because it provided virtually no incentive for faculty to comm it themselves to the classroom, to provide needed service to the campus, department or community, and because the system utilized poor selection, recruitment and dev elopment tools. To remedy these problems the Task Force made several recommendation s. First, academic departments should develop a written policy on the appropriate use of part-timers to guide their actions. Second they should improve the recruitment process to ensure quality part-time hires while improving and smoothing opportunities f or transfer from part to full time positions. Third, the Task Force recommended that a dministrators should provide written and early employment commitments for part-t ime faculty. It also encouraged multiple quarter contracts, rather than quarter by quarter renewals. Other best practices involving evaluation, development, communication, s upport and recognition were also put on the table. To make earnest its support for the task force rec ommendations Earl Hale, Executive Director of the SBCTC, announced that the State Board would seek twenty million dollars over the 1997 to 1999 biennium to a ddress faculty issues, including part-time salary and benefit inequities. Ultimately the state authorized a maximum of 7.7 million dollars to address part-time issues. Follow ing this, a number of specific initiatives were taken that, cumulatively, have beg un to make a difference for part-timers. Most significantly, in 1996 the WFT dr afted and secured legislation to ensure that part-timers that work at least 50% rece ive the medical benefits to which they were entitled. A clear method of calculating percen tages of employment time was established to prevent the state from denying those claims. Summer benefits have remained a point of contention and are one of the s ubjects in a major court challenge now underway. On a more positive note, the most dir ect indication that the state takes the problem seriously was the legislature's decisio n, in 1999, to dedicate twenty million dollars to adjust part-time pay upwards. In doing s o, the legislature abandoned language that would have settled for the SBCTC's goal for pa rt-timers--76% of full time pay--and appears to have adopted the WFT's goal of 100% pari ty. The pay adjustments achieved to this date still leave part-timers far from eithe r goal, but state actions stand in stark contrast to years of previous neglect. In June 2001 despite a very difficult session the legislature voted another 7.5 million dollars for p ay equity. As a percentage FTE instruction, the use of part-t imers has not expanded in any appreciable degree since 1995, but neither has it b een reduced. After discussions with the union, the SBCTC created plans to change the pa rt-time/full-time faculty mix by adding some 360 full positions statewide in the cur rent biennium. However, that plan appears to have been abandoned in the light of curr ent budget difficulties. Hope for conversions must now rely upon success in achieving pay equity, which will act to minimize the demand for part-timers for purely econ omic reasons. The cost of providing benefits may begin to tip incentives away from part -time hires even without 100% pay
11 of 14equity.Conclusions Despite real accomplishments, ominous clouds conti nue to mark the sky. As always, money is extremely tight in the state capit ol, Olympia, and the part-time situation has been complicated by new state initiat ives, one limiting taxes and another increasing pay for teachers from kindergarten throu gh community college. In this fiscal environment nothing is certain. On the other hand, pressured by law suits, lobbyin g, and public relations campaigns, Washington's SBCTC appears poised to res olve the situation, if for no other reason than to avoid costly liability. The prospect of an expensive court suit related to contingent work practices has grown since December 12, 2000, when the Vincainzo Case against Microsoft was settled. To resolve that suit, Microsoft consented to a 97 million-dollar payment to permatemp workers who cla imed they were wrongfully denied benefits the company provided to its other employee s. At the behest of Keith Hoeller's WPTFA the law firm that represented those plaintiff s, Bendich, Staughbaugh and Strong, is now arguing in a separate case that part -time community college faculty are being denied benefits they rightfully deserve. One irony is that this suit would have no little basis in law if the state had not acquiesced when the WFPTA and the WFT pressed for, and secured, best-practice legislation in the mid-nineties. The subsequent 1996 WFT bill spelled out the method by which part-timer's e ligibility to participate in benefit plans was to be determined. The new lawsuit seeks retroac tive faculty benefits for up to twenty years, during which time the state allegedly calcul ated hours erroneously so as to deprive part-timers of their pension and health benefits. In an interim decision, Judge Steven Scott has det ermined last year that faculty teaching 50% or more are entitled to summer health benefits if they work at all at during that period. If complied with this interim decision may conflict with another high priority part-time concern: the ability to collect unemployment benefits. In particular, many part-timers desire unemployment compensation d uring summer and other times when colleges fail to provide them with classes to teach. By securing summer benefits, the claim of temporary employment may be weakened a s part-timers begin to look more like full time faculty, for whom a nine-month contr act is presumed to be full time yearly employment. Perhaps the ultimate test of the succes s of the part-time movement in Washington State will come when part-timers are tre ated well enough that they will be able to choose between the reasonable assurance of multi-quarter contracts with benefits and unemployment compensation during quarters when they don't teach. In April of 2001 the WFT secured a victory that should ease une mployment claims. The bill declares that part-time employment offers contingen t upon enrollment, funding, or scheduling does not constitute reasonable assurance of employment. In the meantime the law firm of Frank and Rosen is pressing yet another case arguing that the state's method of paying part-time rs is seriously flawed. Presently, not only does the state not provide reasonable assuranc e of continued employment, the plaintiffs in this case claim, instead, the state m isstates the employment relationship altogether. The plaintiffs argue that community bec ause colleges pay part-timers only for each class-contact hour, the state violates its own minimum wage and overtime laws. Although the case faces a variety of obstacles, it constitutes one more pressure point toward the implementation of the best practices tha t enumerated in 1996. The state continues to show modest incremental lea dership in slowly tackling the worst of the contingent labor practices in academia Perhaps the greatest danger on the
12 of 14 horizon is degree to which different elements of th e education community are increasingly being pitted against one another for s parse funds. The fact that the legislature provided financial relief for part-time faculty, but refused to pass enabling legislation for the teaching assistants at the Univ ersity, suggests something of the constrained choices facing the higher education com munity.Acknowledgement Thanks to student research assistants Art Boulton; Annetta La Chance; and Steve Wong and to the University of Washington's Tools fo r Transformation grant that made this work possible. My appreciation also goes to th e the Washington Federation of Teachers and its Part-time Caucus for designing and distributing the survey questionnaire. Finally, thanks go to Susan Levy, Ke ith Hoeller and Wendy Rader-Konofalksi for reviewing and commenting on th e manuscript. Despite all this excellent help, in this effort I must bear sole res ponsibility for any remaining errors.NoteA legislatively appointed Task Force reported that the use of part-timers had increased 6 percentage points, from 42 to 48% of FT E between 1990 and1995. It should be noted that the Task Force Report apparent ly included full time faculty who moonlight additional courses for extra income. Thus, 5% of these 48% are not part-timers. 1.References1998. State Board for Community Colleges, Research Report 98-4, Part-time faculty in Washington Community and Technical Colleges.2000A, State Board for Community Colleges, "Enrollm ents and Student Demographics," SBCTC Webpage.2000B, Budget Request, State Board for Community Co lleges, SBCTC Webpage 2000, National Center for Educational Statistics, I nstructional Faculty and Staff in Public 2-Year Colleges), NCES 2000-192, May 2000.1996, Best Practices Task Force, Report: Adjunct Fa culty Personnel Administration.About the Author Daniel Jacoby Email: DJacoby@bothell.washington.eduDaniel Jacoby is Associate Professor in the Interdi sciplinary Arts and Sciences Program at the University of Washington's Bothell campus wh ere he teaches economics. He writes on labor, education, and economics and is th e author of Laboring for Freedom: A New Look at the History of American Labor (M.E. Sharpe, Inc, 1998).
13 of 14 Copyright 2001 by the Education Policy Analysis ArchivesThe World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is epaa.asu.edu General questions about appropriateness of topics o r particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, firstname.lastname@example.org or reach him at College of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 8 5287-0211. (602-965-9644). The Commentary Editor is Casey D. C obb: email@example.com .EPAA Editorial Board Michael W. Apple University of Wisconsin Greg Camilli Rutgers University John Covaleskie Northern Michigan University Alan Davis University of Colorado, Denver Sherman Dorn University of South Florida Mark E. Fetler California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Richard Garlikov firstname.lastname@example.org Thomas F. Green Syracuse University Alison I. Griffith York University Arlen Gullickson Western Michigan University Ernest R. House University of Colorado Aimee Howley Ohio University Craig B. Howley Appalachia Educational Laboratory William Hunter University of Calgary Daniel Kalls Ume University Benjamin Levin University of Manitoba Thomas Mauhs-Pugh Green Mountain College Dewayne Matthews Education Commission of the States William McInerney Purdue University Mary McKeown-Moak MGT of America (Austin, TX) Les McLean University of Toronto Susan Bobbitt Nolen University of Washington Anne L. Pemberton email@example.com Hugh G. Petrie SUNY Buffalo Richard C. Richardson New York University Anthony G. Rud Jr. Purdue University Dennis Sayers California State UniversityStanislaus Jay D. Scribner University of Texas at Austin Michael Scriven firstname.lastname@example.org Robert E. Stake University of IllinoisUC Robert Stonehill U.S. Department of Education David D. Williams Brigham Young University
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Is Washington State an unlikely leader? : progress on addressing contingent work issues in academia / Daniel Jacoby.
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