|NFM Launches National Unemployment Compensation Initiative|
|Written by Administrator|
NFM is proud to launch this national campaign to help eligible adjunct and contingent college and university faculty obtain unemployment compensation in between academic terms. In addition to providing pratical assistance to faculty members who are eligible for this benefit, the campaign is part of our broader strategy to reform postsecondary academic employment through education, advocacy, legislation and litigation. By supporting contingent faculty as they apply and collecting statistics on patterns of activity around unemployment claims, we expect to be able to lobby more effectively to change the problematic "reasonable assurance of re-employment" clause in federal unemployment law-the clause that has been invoked (and contested) when denials have occurred.
We are pleased to have the support of the three major faculty unions on this effort and look forward to working with them on it. As the only national organization dedicated exclusively to advocating for adjunct and contingent faculty, NFM is eager to build on the groundbreaking efforts of activists like Joe Berry, Beverly Stewart, Helena Worthen, Frank Brooks, Jonathan Karpf and the countless others within and outside of unions who have worked to secure this basic right for adjunct and contingent faculty.
When the NFM Board voted to take this on as its first major national initiative, we outlined the following as the rationale:
However, institutions that obstruct claims are trying to have it both ways: they want all of the "benefits" of contingent employment without the responsibilities. Explaining the reasoning and methods involved in the decisions of colleges and universities to fight unemployment insurance for contingent faculty will begin to expose the fundamental problems and contradictions inherent in institutional policies of contingent faculty employment. In short, the disingenuousness of higher ed on this issue is evident in the fact that many institutions have it specifically written into their rules that contingent faculty DON'T have reasonable assurance of continued employment, while at the same time obstructing claims by asserting that they DO have reasonable assurance. We believe that a concerted national effort at both the state and federal levels will lead to the clarification or elimination of the phrase and affirm this right more clearly.
3. A vast increase in UI applications is a no-cost first step toward job security and economic justice. Engagement with institutions in the light of day can only help our cause.
Remember: NFM’s larger goal is to improve higher education by establishing regular terms of employment and a living wage for all faculty. Whenare well managed, they will hire the majority of faculty on a regular basis. We offer this choice: employ us on annual contracts, not conditionally and per semester, or pay us when we are separated from work. When enough of us have stood up and taken the initiative to claim UI, it will be clear that the principled choice is also the practical one – equitable employment in
|Last Updated on Thursday, 17 June 2010 14:34|