Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Adjunct Faulty Rely More and More on Public Assistance for Sustenance

First and River Sts. Hoboken, NJ 
Adjunct faculty could use a $15 minimum wage, too. They're the second-class citizens of academe -- with no job security, few if any benefits, and they work for essentially peanuts. In fact, according to an analysis of census data by Berkeley's Center for Labor Research and Education, 25 percent of "part-time college faculty" and their families now receive some public assistance, such as Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, food stamps, cash welfare, or the Earned Income Tax Credit. That’s not as bad as fast-food employees and home health care aids, half of whom get government help, but it’s still fairly awful. (See below.)

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We’re not talking about a small group here. According to the American Association of University Professors, more than half of all faculty hold part-time appointments. In other words, what’s happening in the rest of the economy is happening in universities as well – a large and growing population of “on demand” workers, many of whom can’t get by without some form of public assistance.