Press Release: PrecariCorps, February 25, 2015 “EQUAL WORK, EQUAL VOICE, EQUAL PAY” #NAWD
“I am constantly playing catch up with this life,” an adjunct in New England who recently contacted us writes. “I get classes, and some get cancelled at the last-minute. I set aside time for a class that doesn’t end up running, losing other classes in the process. I work as much as possible to get through the 6-week periods of having no paycheck, as well as the lean summer months, when any problem that comes up sets us back and we overuse the credit cards.” He describes a cycle familiar to thousands of adjuncts: never quite catching up, despite many efforts to be an ideal teacher and colleague. Enter: PrecariCorps.
On Wednesday February 25, in honor of National Adjunct Walkout Day, we will begin accepting donations on behalf of the thousands of adjuncts struggling to make ends meet, or even to come close to catching up. (Full Disclosure: Because our 501(c)(3) status is still in progress, any contributions will not yet be tax-deductible.) We are now ready for tenured and other full-time faculty, administrators, alumni, and any other interested, sympathetic parties to make donations in any amount to our fund. Qualifying adjuncts will receive funding to help them attend a conference, buy teaching materials, pay a bill, or do anything else necessary for financial security. We have a PayPal Donate button on our website that is linked to a small business checking account (payable to “PrecariCorps”) with the First National Bank of Brookfield.
If you are interested in making a donation in whatever amount you wish (no questions asked), the process is simple. Visit our Donate page, click the PayPal button, and we’ll distribute the funds to adjuncts in need. That’s all you have to do.
A lot is at stake in providing adjunct faculty with the support they need—and deserve—as educated, experienced professionals struggling to make ends meet in American higher education. If adjuncts are more secure and stable as professionals, they can be more secure and stable as teachers and mentors for their students. We recently spoke with a former administrator who left a $1000 donation to kick off a part-time faculty and staff emergency fund at her institution when she moved to the private sector. She felt she had to do something—anything—and encouraged full-time faculty and administrators to contribute to the fund to help offer gap support for things like child care, transportation, food, and utilities. This, to us, is the kind of simple generosity that can help adjunct faculty with the many expenses they’re facing.
As our New England adjunct also shared: “The life I thought I would have by going to the right schools is just not there. My degrees from an Ivy and a top arts school don’t get me full-time jobs. I’ve tried to get full-time work doing anything at a university or college, but after ten years of being an adjunct people have not wanted to see me as anything else.” Thankfully, PrecariCorps can now provide temporary but welcome respite from the financial trap that this adjunct describes—and that thousands of others live. Among other things, we will continue to advocate for equal work, equal voice, and equal pay for all adjunct faculty. If you agree with what we advocate, please consider making a donation to help adjuncts start catching up.