The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Little Help?

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Actually, it's my buddy, GML, who needs your help.

GML still works as an adjunct at Former College. Last week, she was told that she has to attend a faculty in-service next week. No one in administration said anything about her attending this event until last week, when the Wicked Witch Dean stated that GML must attend. This event has been on the schedule since September and no one said anything about adjuncts being required to attend. In the past, adjuncts were not required to attend these types of meetings.

Here's what is grinding her gears. She is not getting paid for attending this event. The college is not paying her adjunct hourly rate. The event is on a day when she is not scheduled to be on campus either. On top of that, the event is in another city, which is an hour drive one way. They will not pay mileage either.

Despite all of that, the administration says that she must attend even if she had a second adjunct gig or another job, the administration wants her to drop everything to attend this in-service.

GML thinks the administration is taking advantage of her. It is incredibly rude of the Wicked Witch to demand that GML attend on such short notice and without regard to GML's commitments outside of Former College. GML thinks she should be paid for her time, or at least for mileage. This may be a futile arguement becuase this college is incredibly cheap, but it is not completely impossible. Also, she is worried that if she says no, the Wicked Witch will make her life miserable, or worse, treat her the way I was treated by being fired.

I think she should fight to get paid for her time. If she is successful, make sure that she has it in writing (Sorry, I used to be a lawyer). Beyond that, I think she should just tell them that the lack of reasonable notice does not allow her to change her schedule. And if she is let go, it would not be the worst thing in the world, considering Former College's lack of respect for its instructors. (I am trying to get GML a gig at my new place).

So, oh gurus of the academic world, what advice would you give GML? I would love to hear from any adjuncts who may have dealt with this.


rented life said...

Always get everything in writing.

We don't get paid for going to inservices, but typically they cover the registration fee. Typically you elect to go (not forced). I would say yes mileage should be covered if it's not local, as well as lunch but if regular faculty don't get paid for going, I doubt she would.

However, we don't require our adjunct to do anything. She shouldn't be required to go at all. Check the handbook, get people who can verify that this is abnormal and tell the dean that as an adjunct, this is not part of her job, as well as she has other obligations and that she will fight that aspect with higher ups. Fighting the money will go no where.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'd have another committment, especially since a) they didn't tell her until last week and b) they haven't had adjuncts at these sorts of meetings in the past.

This is kind of tricky, though -- depending on how much of a "full-time" load she's teaching and how much she's being paid. At my CC, some adjuncts teach full-loads and get paid exactly what I do for the semester AND have comparable benefits -- thus, I expect that they'll show up at the same time-wasting things that I have to go to. They aren't expected to do long-term projects, but they are expected to do the "duty days".

I'm recalling that Former College is close to evil -- so, I doubt she's being paid the same as the full-time people even if she's teaching a full load.

from "Inside the Philosophy Faculty" because Blogger is being naughty to me.

working said...

I've adjuncted within and outside my school (I'm a doctoral student) and I'm never required to go to anything outside of an orientation. I agree with rented life that the argument should be that she not be required to go at all. Best of luck to her.

Seeking Solace said...

I agree that she should not have to go. Believe ir or not, there is no handbook for adjuncts. I think they are too cheap to print one.

Astroprof said...

It is not right to spring this on her. Also, she should get paid. Around here the philosophy is that we can not require adjuncts to do anything without paying them. They are paid at an hourly rate, so they are only paid to be in class and to hold office hours. We also pay them to attend a pre-semester meeting. But, anything else that they do on top of that requires payment.

Prisca said...

What a crappy situation. Is there really no mention of adjuncts in any of the faculty employment publications? That certainly merits investigation because we know GML is NOT the only adjunct there. Are other adjuncts going?

Arbitrista said...

Speaking as a former adjunct, the college will screw you out of every hour and penny they can, if you let them. Better to make her position clear now - no money, no work.

Seeking Solace said...

As far as I know, she is the only adjunct who is being asked to go.

Some of you mentioned pay and yest the pay is really crappy, even by adjunct standards.

I told her that she should tell them "Screw it, I'm not doing it." It may be a blessing if she gets fired.

dr four eyes said...

Is there a contract she signed? If so, does it outline duties? That might be a basis for countering the, er, request.

Is there a human resources office that might be useful here? Sometimes HR can be advocates; others, not so much. Might be helpful to have an HR person be able to clarify what's required of both GML and of Former College (re: reimbursing for mileage, etc).

In the meantime, document everything. GML should be writing memos to file to document when conversations happened, what was said, etc. This can be useful for documenting lack of notice, unreasonable requests, etc.

Good luck to GML!!! Former College sucks.

dbm/gaa said...

This is why I love being unionized.

Don't go unless there is some compensation of the monetary kind.