A Tale of Two Adjuncts
29 years at MCC
Adjunct Before Union
Long before there was an adjunct union a full time colleague required emergency surgery and was unable to finish the last 3 weeks of his classes. As an adjunct I was asked to cover one of them at the magnanimous rate of $20 per contact hour which was the sub rate back then. Since I was actually teaching the class, and not merely proctoring an exam or showing a film which was customary for subbing adjuncts then and now, I requested that I be paid my higher adjunct rate, rather than the sub rate. Administration agreed but the paperwork got fouled up somehow and I was shorted about $300 in sub pay – no small sum, especially for an adjunct. I proceeded to make a series of phone calls to HR and payroll to clear up the problem. Evidently in the process I had stepped on more than a few bureaucratic toes at which point the full time colleague I had subbed for called me at home and asked me what the problem was. I tried to explain. At this point I realized before I ruffled any more feathers I would drop the matter and the shortage was never paid. Que sera, sera! It was an environment of fear that inspired 80% of the voting adjuncts to support the creation of a union when the opportunity came in 2003.
Adjunct After Union
After MCC adjuncts had established a union, I was once again shorted some sub pay and after a quick inquiry to my union rep and after providing some additional paperwork to HR the shortage was paid by the next pay cycle. Had there been no union I have no doubt that the second scenario would have ended like the first. For those who ask the perennial question: “What does the union do for me?” they must remind themselves that sometimes “it’s not what the union gives us but how they advocate for us too!”
On Friday, AAFMCC--joined by AFT Michigan President David Hecker--spent a full day bargaining with The College.
We made some progress with regard to committee compensation, seniority issues, and MCC tuition assistance for our spouses and dependents. We also saw some slight movement on salary.
The College recognized the need for more transparency and further conversation in order to better address the EAT issue, and we are looking forward to what administration brings to the table on this issue at the next bargaining session.
Unlike previous bargaining sessions up to this point, Friday’s session was rich with several productive conversations and opportunities for problem solving. Even though we still have several major issues that we need to resolve as we move forward, we hope that Friday’s session paved the way for more collaboration and compromise at the bargaining table.
The College informed us that they hope to finish up negotiations in time for the December 19 Board of Trustees’ meeting and agreed to meet with us for another bargaining session on Tuesday, November 27 (more info coming soon).
Thank you to all of our members who showed up in solidarity at Friday’s session. Your presence directly impacts what happens at the table, and we must continue to have a strong presence in order to facilitate positive change for MCC adjunct faculty.
The College repeatedly claims that it is grateful for its adjuncts and for the work that we do, but at the bargaining table, The College’s proposals hardly reflect an attitude of gratitude.
The time is now to remind The College of the impact adjuncts make at Macomb and to encourage The College to work toward giving adjuncts the respect and equality we deserve.
In order to accomplish these goals, AAFMCC is collecting short, personal stories that provide a firsthand look at the plight adjuncts face semester to semester and year after year. We will be posting your stories on AAFMCC’s website and sharing them with administration and with The Board of Trustees.
Do you have a story that illustrates the adversities of teaching at Macomb as an adjunct?
Examples include but are not limited to the following:
We know that all of you have a story to share, and we encourage you to share it!
How to submit your story
Email to AAFMCC Secretary Jane Asher at email@example.com
Email AAFMCC Secretary Jane Asher at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to all our members and allies who made AAFMCC's Informational Picket a success!
Check out The Macomb Daily article here: https://www.macombdaily.com/news/local/mcc-adjunct-faculty-protest-lack-of-contract/article_a31bc422-d581-11e8-8e6f-1b33e1ae1dcf.html
AAFMCC encourages members to vote for Eugene Groesbeck for MCC Board of Trustees on November 6.
Eugene is supportive of AAFMCC, and he has demonstrated his support by standing in solidarity and joining AAFMCC at our Informational Picket on Oct. 19 and at the Board of Trustees' Meeting on Oct. 23.
Please read the following message from Eugene to learn more about his background and qualifications:
Hello, I am a candidate for the Macomb Community College Board of Trustees. This isn't the first time I've been a candidate for the MCC Board of Trustees. In fact, I've campaigned for the office on numerous occasions in the past. I am a strong advocate of MCC and its mission having graduated from MCC in 1979. I'm fond of saying MCC is where I discovered my brain. Also, my family has deep ties to MCC as my late uncle, Harvey Groesbeck, was a charter member of the Board of Trustees.
I am retired from the Macomb County Sheriff's Office where I worked for twenty five years as a Corrections Deputy. While employed at the sheriff's office I was very active in the Macomb County Professional Deputy Sheriff's Association, the union representing the uniformed staff of the department. I served as steward, vice-president and president of the organization. As such, I was intimately involved in collective bargaining and employee grievance issues as well as representing our members in disciplinary proceedings. I also have a proven track record of community involvement as a volunteer mediator with the Resolution Center in Mt. Clemens and a member of the Foster Care Review Board in Macomb County where I currently serve as chairman. Since retiring from the sheriff's office in 2014 I have been a Special Investigator with the United States Department of State Diplomatic Security Service where I conduct employment related background investigations.
In addition to being a graduate of MCC with a Liberal Arts Degree, I also have a Bachelor of Science Degree in History from Lake Superior University and a Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution from Wayne State University. I believe that my education, employment history and volunteerism in the community make me uniquely qualified to be a member of MCC's Board of Trustees and hope you agree.
I have been endorsed by three MCC employee unions: the Association of Adjunct Faculty of Macomb Community College(AAFMCC), AFSCME Local 2172.15 & AFSCME Local 2172.16. I have also been endorsed by the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO.
I would very much appreciate your vote on the non-partisan section of the ballot on November 6th, which is coincidentally my 59th birthday! If I can answer any questions/concerns relating to my candidacy please don’t hesitate to ask!
PS: Please share this with your family and friends. Word of mouth is very important in a campaign such as this. Thank you!!
The MCC Board of Trustees’ Meeting that was cancelled on Wednesday, has been rescheduled for Monday, Oct. 22 at 6 p.m., at Center Campus (University Center, Lecture Hall B).
We need to keep the momentum going!
Please considering joining us on the meeting on Monday!
Today is the day we make history at Macomb Community College, and today is the day we need everyone to step up and show up.
What? A peaceful Informational Picket
When? Today, Friday, Oct. 19
What time? 4:30-6:30/7 (come when you can)
Where? MCC Center Campus
Outside the Center for The Performing Arts/Lorenzo
Meet in the Southeast Corner of Parking Lot 4 (the lot
directly in front of the Performing Arts/Cultural Center
Who will be picketing?
Why are we picketing?
We want to bring attention to what’s been happening at the bargaining table.
More specifically, we are responding to what happened at yesterday’s bargaining session:
If you care, if you are concerned, if you support equity, improved working conditions, and a decent living wage for yourself and your adjunct colleagues, then SHOW UP AT THE PICKET TODAY!
If you plan to attend please register so we can get an accurate count of attendees:
We need all members to join AAFMCC on the front line on Oct. 19th!
Bring your friends, spouses/partners, and whoever else you can.
There's power and safety in numbers.
It's time to make a statement so that we can make some gains at the bargaining table!
For more information, contact
We need to have a strong presence next week!
Thursday's bargaining session and Friday's Informational Picket have the potential to pave the way for real change but only if we bring the numbers!
If we want to improve our working conditions, we need to work at it.
We need to show The College that we're serious and that we're invested.
Let's stop talking about what we want to change.
Let's show up and make it happen!
For more information about next week's events, contact