Joan Lederman

When I first started at WCC in 2002, I was just placed in a teaching position with no training or orientation on how things work. I had to ask a lot of questions. One glaring example is that adjuncts can contribute to a retirement system. Well… no one ever told me that. This has only been revealed in the last 4 years.

Another issue is that adjuncts are made to feel inferior to the full-time faculty. The most glaring situation occurred for me when I was proctoring an exam during finals week under our old system. I was in an auditorium with several other faculty members when one of the full-timers asked for some input on a union issue (of all things!!!). I said something but was bluntly told “You are an adjunct. Your opinion doesn’t matter.” If the law that makes union membership optional and eliminates agency fees had existed back then, WCCFT would have lost me on the spot. When Mel Bienenfeld was running for president of the union, I became interested. He did everything he could to make adjuncts feel welcome and part of the team.

I could say a lot more, but you’ll have to excuse me while I run off to my other job at Mercy College. THAT is a day in the life of an adjunct instructor.