"I appreciate that you are looking into the issue of adjunct faculty online training. I would like to add that this problem predates the current crisis.
I have taught as an adjunct instructor at MCC for the past nineteen years. I requested permission to undertake Canvas training last August. Several days later, my associate dean, responded, stating that "...the department's current needs were met." In the fall, I met briefly with the provost during the Macomb campus-wide faculty meeting and related that this took place. He seemed unmoved. I again requested training in February of this year when I realized that a pandemic was imminent. This time my AD did not respond to me directly at all.
For years the college has professed that it desires and offers faculty training, if for no other reason than to bolster its case for accreditation, but its actions clearly do not support this."
-Stephen Marcincavage, AAFMCC Member
Last week we informed you that we contacted The College on Wednesday, April 22 and requested a meeting to resolve the many issues that are negatively impacting adjuncts' working conditions (if you missed that email, please go back and read it).
As of yesterday morning (a week when we sent our initial request), we had not yet received a response from The College, so we reached out again and stressed the urgency of the situation. The College responded and informed us that they can meet with AAFMCC on Thursday, May 7.
In their reply, the College requested that we provide them a list of the adjuncts who have been denied access to training, and we informed the college that the complaints from our members are so widespread that it is impossible to capture each and every issue. We also reiterated that the reason that members are being denied access to training is because we have not settled the issue of how this training is to be rolled out for AAFMCC members and that this should be our top priority.
Here is a snippet from AAFMCC's most recent email correspondence with The College:
"A major issue is that people who are volunteering to take the training are being told they cannot. Put that beside the message from the Provost that you cannot teach until you get the training equals people being told they no longer have a job at Macomb. I am sure that is not the message you are wanting department heads to convey to our members. Various departments are telling members very different things about whether they need the training or not. The confusion and mixed messages are causing tension and anger. People are in dire straits and have little patience with this lack of clarity. We are telling our members that we are working to resolve this issue, and I believe the message should be the same on your end as well. Until we settle on what the training process looks like, a message needs to go out to all of your supervisors in charge of class assignments that they should stop telling our members that they will not get classes unless they get the training. I suggest that you ask them to say that administration is working with the union concerning training."
AAFMCC members, please know that we are actively working on resolving these issues and ensuring that we get equitable processes in place for the fall semester. We are doing our best to reply to all of your emails, but know that we won't have answers until we meet with The College to work out the many issues that are affecting so many of us.
In the meantime, we appreciate your patience and your trust as you await our next update.
When we have answers, you will be the first to know.
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Following the Provost’s announcement that all fall classes will begin remotely, many of us are beginning to realize that this new precarious situation could adversely affect adjuncts and potentially threaten our contractual rights with regard to seniority, availability and course assignments.
We want you to know that AAFMCC is very aware of the many issues that our members may encounter in the coming months. Therefore, we are taking action to ensure that our contractual rights are upheld and that new, equitable measures are put into place to safeguard us from the adverse effects of these unforeseen circumstances.
On Wednesday, April 22, AAFMCC contacted Provost Don Ritzenhein and Vice President of Human Resources Denise Williams in order to call attention to our change in working conditions, outline the issues surrounding the new training requirements and request that The College work with us to come to a mutual agreement.
Below you will find a condensed version of the email that we sent to The College on April 22. We also requested that The College schedule a meeting with AAFMCC next week in order to resolve these matters.
We will follow up with an update next week even if it’s just to let you know that we’ve scheduled a meeting with The College.
In the meantime, please know that we are fighting to protect you and your rights.
Wishing you safety, health and peace!
The AAFMCC Executive Board
Condensed version of the email that AAFMCC sent to The College on April 22, 2020
AFFMCC absolutely believes in the importance of quality instruction and part of that is preparing teachers to be most effective in the online environment. However, to ask instructors who have already been teaching at your college to undertake this extensive training before they can teach online, which effectively means before they cannot teach in the foreseeable future, is a change in working conditions. Also, any qualification modifications must be mutually agreed upon by both parties in 5.7 of the contract.
We believe we can come to a mutual agreement on the issues surrounding training. Here is a list of what we need to resolve:
1. Access to training. Supervisors are still not allowing access to training for instructors asking for it at this very moment. You need instructors for several sections for the coming semester. We know you were going to work on this issue, but we are being flooded with issues about training access. This is likely to continue into the fall without a clear process that honors the contract.
2. A process to get training based on honoring the contractual process for assigning classes.
3. Accepting training that has already happened. We discussed how many adjuncts have been trained for Canvas at Macomb and at other institutions. According to some correspondence that we are getting from members, the fact that people have experience teaching online is not being considered. An agreed-upon process for assessing what training and experienced instructors have already will help the college streamline getting people slotted into sections and preparing their classes.
4. For those instructors that need training and have no experience, then they should be paid for the time it takes to complete the course since this will have to be done outside of the semester where the instructor is working. This is mandated training outside of the period of work a member is hired for. Therefore, it needs to be compensated training.
The following information is also available on our Member Resources page.
We will update these resources as more information becomes available.