AAFMCC BARGAINING UPDATE
I often ask myself why I continue to teach at MCC. It’s not because of the pay. It’s not because of the lack of benefits. It’s not because of the disrespect I am shown. It’s not because there is no career path. It’s not because we get one day of paid time off per course. It’s not because the administration sees us just as warm bodies to teach their classes. The reason I teach is to improve the lives of students and to prepare them for a successful future.
But to be honest, I can fulfill this purpose at other community colleges and get paid more. It’s an hour and a half drive to Lansing Community College, but I would make almost $140 per credit hour more. Mott Community College is just over an hour drive, but I would make over $250 per credit hour more. Saint Clair Community College is under an hour drive, and starting in 2020, their adjunct instructors will be making $1000 per credit hour compared to the $870 that Macomb is offering us at the end of three years. Why would I or any other adjunct stay here? Why would an adjunct want to apply to teach here when they could make more at several other local Michigan community colleges? The college is losing its competitiveness to attract excellent professors to instruct their students. Eventually, students will realize they can go to another community college and receive a better education from a professor that MCC lost because of its low pay. Sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side.
Macomb Community College has a choice to make: They can pay their adjuncts a comparable wage and retain and hire excellent adjuncts, or they can continue with their current offer, watch adjuncts leave, and find that they can no longer hire and retain the best professors. Macomb says that they are committed to their students and faculty, but by paying their adjuncts far below the wages adjuncts earn at comparable colleges, they are certainly not acting on that commitment.
I come from a union family: My father and grandfather have negotiated contracts, and I can see what the college is trying to do. To me, when Macomb constantly claims that they have made their last best offer, they are bargaining in bad faith. That the college is trying to rush these negotiations is just another sign that the college does not respect its adjuncts.
This is unacceptable, and MCC adjuncts deserve far better.
MCC students deserve better, too.
Our only option is to fight to get a better contract.