The benefits of equality – San Diego Campus Equity Week seeks equality in pay for part-time and full-time instructors

Phoenix Webb

A letter campaign was conducted at City College Oct. 30 to appeal to Gov. Jerry Brown for equal pay between adjunct staff and full-time faculty equal work performed.

In partnership with the American Federation of Teachers Union, Arnie Schoenberg, Jose Rodriguez and Lisa Chaddock manned tables for Campus Equity Week, Oct. 27-31, asking passersby on campus to sign letters to be sent to district representatives.

The pay between part-time staff, or adjunct, and full-time contracted faculty can be the difference of night and day, even when each perform the same functions in their jobs.

The point of the letter campaign, and what adjunct instructors want, is to be paid exactly the same amount for their time spent teaching and having office hours as their full time counterpart instructors.

“This is an effort that is going on throughout the state of California, it is not just our campus, it’s for every adjunct. We’re about social justice and it may have grown out of this local, but it is about California and having social justice throughout the state of California,” explained geography professor Lisa Chaddock, who was hired as a full-time instructor of City College this semester.

Equal pay for equal work is not the only issue for all adjuncts. For some, it’s also about respect and having the resources to be the best instructor to their students.

Part-time professor of anthropology Arnie Schoenberg said he loves his job and the community of City College. What he doesn’t love is the feeling of resentment for not being paid fairly. He also expressed the need for adjuncts to have office space for the benefit of the students they serve.

“This idea of having an office to interact with students, it’s not there. It’s something that makes me a worse teacher (for) not having those resources,” Schoenberg explained.

Schoenberg currently shares a 10-foot-square office space with two other adjuncts and they share a computer with more adjuncts, and under these circumstances he is unable to comfortably accommodate students’ privacy of information.

For some adjuncts, equal pay for their work at one campus could eliminate their need to teach classes at multiple campuses as in the case of Jose Rodriguez, who teaches two English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) classes at City.

Rodriguez describes his work schedule as one adjunct teacher: “I am a typical ‘freeway flier.’ I drive in from San Marcos here (City College), I teach two classes, one at 8, one at 9:40; right now I’m leaving to go teach at MiraCosta in Oceanside. I have a class there from 1 to 3:20, then I drive back here for an evening class that starts at 6:20, but I have my office hours for my students from 5 to 6. So, my day starts at like 5:30 in the morning and I get home tonight about 8:30. I think that’s pretty typical for a lot of us adjunct professors.”