Adjuncts At Risk
20 years at MCC
One of our long time good teachers of many years was threatened by a student this semester. He reported it to the AD who refused to remove the student from the class. The teacher confided with me that stated he feels his life was is at risk every day. So he stated this will be his last class ever. I personally know that he is a very good and caring teacher from my personal experience with him over many years.
Another one of our teachers had a serious issue with a student and the AD refused to do anything
Another long time teacher had some kind of an issue (unknown to me) but the AD refused to do anything. He was told by this ad that he was too old to teach (not true as he is presently teaching and is in fact doing a good job and there is no senility or other physical issue) so he took it to the ACLU who has taken it on. This issue is now pending.
At the start of the semester last year, I was assigned a newly redone classroom. This room was the first classroom just inside an entrance which has no video surveillance and is always open during school hours. My room is six inches away from this entrance. I recently took our public safety class on active shooter preparedness and was informed that, whenever possible, the students in my classes should be out of sight of the potential shooter.
My new classroom door has a good lock but also has a small window through which any potential active shooter can see the entire class including the teacher. I went to public safety and inquired if it would be okay if I put a piece of paper over the window from the inside to prevent any potential active shooter from seeing everyone as the window has no shade. I was told that they had no objection and thought it in fact was a good idea. I also asked a public safety officer the same question and he told me that it was a good idea and that as far as he knew that it had always been up to the teacher to cover a classroom door window which in the past had been done to remove distractions but that it would be a good idea for safety especially in the light that we have had three recent active shooter alerts. Also note that I am a former public safety person. I later placed a small piece of dark paper over the inside of the little door window. Four other teachers also covered their windows.
Three days later, all of those safety paper covers were torn out, and I was summoned to what appeared to me to be a firing hearing at the main office of HR. I, of course, called in our union representative for protection. I was grilled for a long time by several administrators in a hostile manner which felt like an interrogation. They demanded “What are you trying to hide? Why did you cover your window?” I stated that that one cent’s worth of paper makes my room very secure because we would be out of sight, and I could lock the door and an active shooter is not going to shoot through a door if he can’t see anyone inside or break his shoulder trying to break in. He would just go somewhere else. This would make my students much safer. But if a shooter could see us, he could shoot us. I answered that I would be doing absolutely nothing different whether or not the window was covered or not.
They grilled me on my attitude towards school safety. I told them I was a former public safety person, a scoutmaster, and former military and that being prepared for the rare possibility of an active shooter and concern for the safety of my students was my only concern. I advised them that I had attended the police safety training and that both the police and the big posters in every classroom emphasized that students should be out of sight. We need to take a proactive approach to our students’ safety. And I told them I had inquired and asked permission in advance and it was approved by public safety. I also pointed out that we had no shade on the window and we could not put a table in front of the door to block the view as we had a lab room and the tables had big cables attached so the piece of paper over the door was the best and very inexpensive option. I also reminded them that we had recently had 3 active shooter alerts and that one was outside of my then classroom.
To add to insult, Macomb never told me the outcome of this interrogation (now over a year later), but I continue to be one of the finest teachers here at Macomb, well liked by students and fellow teachers, and had been previously been given a distinguished service award for my 20 years of service.
NOTE: The following submission is a speech that an AAFMCC member presented at the October Board of Trustees' meeting. It also contains a brief account of her actions that followed her address to The Board.
AMENDED ADDRESS OF DR. SUSAN KIRWAN, ANTHROPOLOGIST, TO MACOMB COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES, MONDAY 10/22/2018
6:00 PM (DAY LIGHT SAVINGS TIME)
My name is Dr. Susan Kirwan. I have taught Anthropology at Macomb Community College for 9 years in January.
I am very good at teaching. When I said good-bye to my class at the end of winter semester 2018, my students gave me a standing ovation and presented me with a bouquet of a dozen, long-stemmed red roses.
If my students were paying me, I would receive economic justice. But my students are not paying me. Trustees and their administrators are paying me, and for that reason, I wish to remind the Board of Trustees and administrators in regard to a few things:
(1) Faculty and students do not exist to serve the Board of Trustees and their administrators. The Board of Trustees and its administrators exist to serve scholars (specifically adjunct faculty) and their students.
(2) Without faculty and students, there would be no college, and administrators would become the unemployed.
(3) Every employee in the private sector (even McDonald’s employees) receives compensation for every minute spent working. I too deserve compensation for every minute I work outside of the classroom, and most of my work is done outside of the classroom. Thus, I accuse the Board of Trustees and their administrators of running academic sweat-shops that exploit adjunct faculty mercilessly without pay.
(4) To illustrate the extent of my unpaid work, I submit a partial log of unpaid labor which will speak for itself.
I then left the podium to hand out a copy of log of unpaid hours to each Board Member.
I immediately left the lecture hall.
This legislation serves only one purpose: undermining the ability of the union to defend our freedoms and the contract.
A recertification election every two years would be disruptive to the workplace.
Union members already regularly vote on who represents them and the terms of their contracts, making this legislation completely unnecessary.
Ask your Legislator to stop attacking teachers, school employees, and other public employees.
Click Here to send a letter to your Legislator.
Help AAFMCC raise awareness this holiday season!
At the Board of Trustees’ Meeting on December 19th, AAFMCC will be sharing some holiday cheer with President Sawyer when we deliver a bundle of holiday cards containing a holiday wish list from MCC adjuncts.
Please send your five-item holiday wish list to AAFMCC organizer Nicholas Zastrow at email@example.com.
Deadline: Monday, December 17
In your email, please include the following information:
If you have questions or concerns, please contact Nicholas Zastrow at firstname.lastname@example.org or 313-655-4815.
Teachers Deserve More and so do Our Students
Natalie Winslow, M.A.
5 years at MCC
My name is Natalie Winslow, and I am an adjunct. I obtained my master’s degree in 1992 with the certainty that I would receive a full-time position in my field. As it proved not to be quite as easy as I thought, I joined the Peace Corps and served for two years to get some experience. Upon my return I found myself in a nightmarish situation of working for three or four different academic institutions, private institutions, businesses and tutoring. From semester to semester, I never knew which classes would “go” and which would be cancelled. I, therefore, accepted more than I could handle. The result was that students’ education suffered. I was working up to 70 hours a week to make – at the most- $40,000 a year. I had to pay for my own benefits and return money to my employer if I was sick.
I’ve been doing this for a long time now. I can no longer work for multiple colleges as I am completely enervated. I now dedicate my time to Macomb. It is not a living wage, and my son and I qualify for Medicaid and other subsidies.
Honestly, I ask you. Is this how teachers should be treated?
I still put 110% into every lesson because I am a professional. I give my students what they deserve, so why doesn’t Macomb Community College give their adjunct teachers what they deserve?