Backbone of Morton College: Adjunct Professors Deserve Better

Backbone of Morton College: Adjunct Professors Deserve Better

Adjunct professors at Morton College, though they are dedicated educators and integral to the functioning of the college and our students’ success, are plagued by low wages and a pervasive lack of respect. That lack of respect has never been more apparent than it is right now, as the Morton Adjunct Faculty Association (MAFA) continues to bargain its contract with the Administration. June 1 will mark two years. Unfortunately, the Administration is disengaged and not taking our talks seriously, dismissing several bargaining issues with little or no discussion. We remain committed to reaching a fair contract as soon as possible, and we are calling on the Administration to immediately begin fair bargaining with our students’ success in mind.

Many Adjuncts masterfully balance quality and critical teaching while juggling multiple jobs to make ends meet. The tuition to take a course taught by an Adjunct is exactly the same as the tuition for a course taught by a full-time faculty member. Yet at Morton College, Adjuncts’ wages are so low that their raises don’t keep pace with rising inflation, and they don’t have health insurance. The college’s persistent reliance on Adjunct labor perpetuates a cycle of exploitation, where institutions prioritize cost-cutting measures over investing in one of its most valuable resources: Adjunct educators’ well-being. Respected and recognized Adjuncts, despite fear of financial instability, teach and inspire students better.

Consider this:

  • Stagnant wages: Over the last three years, Morton College has spent more than $14 million on campus renovations. During the same time frame, wage increases for Adjunct faculty over the last five years have not kept pace with inflation, which means Adjuncts are actually earning less now than they were five years ago. MAFA’s proposed wage increases have come down significantly more compared to how much the College’s proposed increases have come up.
  • Unfair wage structure: The college refuses to pay Adjuncts as urban faculty, instead grouping them with Adjuncts in rural Kane and Will Counties, as suggested by an outside agency.  Yet, the college boasts six times in its year-end report that it serves urban Chicago students.  It can’t have it both ways.
    No healthcare: Adjunct faculty have no healthcare provided to them through the college.  The college has rejected our healthcare proposal. The cost for Adjuncts to secure their own healthcare is exorbitant. Some Adjuncts spend half their monthly paycheck on health insurance. This leaves little to cover housing costs, utilities, living expenses, and groceries.
  • Commitment: Adjuncts choose to work for and stay with Morton College because they value the culture and want to make a positive impact on their students.  It’s certainly in spite of comments from Administration that Adjuncts can go elsewhere and that they knew what they were getting into when they joined.

It’s time for change at Morton College. We need a contract that treats our members like the professional educators we are and accounts for expected inflation.  So far, the Administration’s proposed wage increases don’t even cover cost-of-living increases. We need a contract that recognizes and values our deep commitment to our students and the Morton College community. Otherwise, our students will miss out on valuable opportunities for mentorship and guidance, while the academic community loses out on the diverse perspectives and expertise that Adjuncts bring to the table.

Please consider signing our petition Isecure.ngpvan.com/YP7LLB_EwkG1iXTYz153Xw2) in support of MAFA and our ongoing contract negotiations. By standing in solidarity, we can affect meaningful change and demand better for our students, our staff, and our community. Only then can we truly uphold the principles of higher education and ensure a more just and equitable academic landscape for all.

 

 

 

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