Pay schedule gives adjuncts the shaft

The memo came out a little late to the adjunct faculty of Missouri Southern.

A recent change in the pay schedule for part time instructors (among other things) came out in an e-mail memo after lunch on the Friday before Labor Day weekend. It is a well-established, if not acknowledged, fact that Southern’s campus effectively shuts down early on Fridays anyway, especially so before a long weekend.

It might be a bit harsh, but it seems like a cheap shot to faculty on the University’s part. In addition to the less-than-efficient timing of the delivery, the change the memo contained is one our adjuncts have fought before.

In spring 2009, part-time instructors will have to wait seven weeks, that’s almost two months of work without pay. We at The Chart respect convenience. However, asking your employees to work for almost two months with out a paycheck is just plain wrong.

Workers in fast food, factories or in retail aren’t expected to put up with seven weeks without pay.

Why should University instructors be asked to?

Last year, The Chart ran a similar story addressing the same faculty outrage from many of the same people.

“They did it two years ago and I protested and I got it changed,” said Kim Horner, adjunct instructor of English.

Now, with the possibility of waiting for payment looming yet again, more serious action is being discussed.

“I can see how this would make people A, want to pursue teaching jobs at other schools and B, want to bring in a labor union that would work in support of part-time college staff,” said Kyle Tucker, adjunct instructor of English.

Ruffled feathers are one thing, but when the staff is willing to openly discuss working for a rival university, there is something very, very wrong and University officials ought to take heed.