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Any adjunct instructors here?


Amethyst
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I started working at a community college in January.

Now, starting today, we instructors in the department (full time and adjuncts) are supposed to attend training for new software that will be used in the clinic. It is three days for three hours each day.  I will do the training at home at specific hours so that we can ask the presenter questions if needed. The presenter will be in California and we are in Pennsylvania? Am I supposed to attend these 9 hours without being paid?

Additionally, there is a department meeting next week. One hour? Two hours? More? Who knows, it sort of depends. Last January (and again mid-semester) there was a department meeting which was on Zoom. I did not charge for my time. This year, it will be held in person at the college (45 minutes from me, not relevant I know). 

My husband thinks I'm nuts and not respecting myself if I don't get paid. I'm not sure what the policy is. I could ask the director. But I want to get a feel here first if I am going to be doing something inappropriate by suggesting I get paid when no one else does. 

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4 minutes ago, regentrude said:

When I was an adjunct, I got paid a fixed amount for the courseload. There was no charging by the hour.

The setups I have seen are fixed amount per course.

Most of the time. I have had two jobs though in which there was a stipend for training because no one would take the job if they had to put in two or three more days for training on top of the low pay. It is ridiculous how adjuncts are treated, well, all faculty really!

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I teach at a small LAC, and adjuncts are paid a salary based on FTE, the same as other faculty. It is, in fact, the same salary as a starting assistant professor, which I realize is insanely rare. 

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I have worked as an adjunct at three universities: one state school and two liberal arts schools in two different parts of the country. In all cases, I was paid by the course with no duties required other than actually preparing for and teaching the course. In a couple of cases, I had brief meetings with the department heads but nothing like you're describing. 

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59 minutes ago, Faith-manor said:

Depends on the college. I have taught adjunct in the past, but do not accept contracts where training hours are unpaid because adjunct work is so underpaid anyway.

Truly. It is shocking how adjuncts are paid. What a ridiculous system!

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11 minutes ago, Calizzy said:

Dh is the adjunct, not me. But yearly he has to do sexual harassment training online and is not paid. He is paid per course, not hourly. 

Yes, adjuncts have to do all the stupid annual trainings: sexual harassment, cybersecurity, emergency response protocol... and whatever else the institution can come up with.

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40 minutes ago, Amethyst said:

Truly. It is shocking how adjuncts are paid. What a ridiculous system!

I'm a TA and make more than our adjuncts per course and our adjunct pay is not the lowest that I've heard of. Granted I can only TA for one course per semester. I am also not paid for training time.

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I have never heard of adjuncts being paid by the hour, only a flat sum for the course.  And yes, you have to do whatever trainings the university requires. 

Nine hours to learn a new software program sounds bananas, though. 

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1 hour ago, Amethyst said:

Truly. It is shocking how adjuncts are paid. What a ridiculous system!

I have a friend who was an adjunct professor at our local state college. I had no idea how bad it was until talking to her. Florida's treatment of adjuncts is awful!

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Just chiming in to agree: when DH was an adjunct he got paid for the courses only, and had to attend trainings with no pay attached. I’d say a total of 8-12 hours a semester just depending. He was very lucky though and won the training session door prize 3 or 4 times and got gift cards to Starbucks. Which I then took. So, actually, maybe he wasn’t lucky, lol. 

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My dh has been an adjunct for about 15 years. He is always paid a flat fee for the course. He does have online training he has to do on his own time but they are not as extensive as what you are describing. He doesn’t have staff meetings. He has a supervisor he speaks to on the phone from time to time but nothing major.

One year they did attempt to require on campus meetings and dh just didn’t go. He has a day job and this is a side hustle and he wasn’t going to take a day off his full time job to attend the meetings. I don’t think they ever tried that again but now that I think about it, maybe they do and dh just refuses. 

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5 hours ago, Amethyst said:

Truly. It is shocking how adjuncts are paid. What a ridiculous system!

Absolutely.  I am going to be an undergraduate TA for a calculus class next semester and I will be getting paid more than the instructor does--the instructor who has a graduate degree in math and something like 15 years of teaching experience.  That makes absolutely no sense.  It's obvious that the people make these decisions have no idea about what it takes to teach a course properly nor do they care.

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I have never been at a college at which adjuncts were paid any additional amount for training or attending meetings.  Most meetings were optional for adjuncts.  University mandated training, like diversity and privacy training were required.  Sometimes there would be meetings or training that was associated with teaching a particular course, especially when there was coordination across course sections.  Attending those wre just considered part of the teaching duties such as meeting with students, grading papers outside of class time, and all of the other responsibilities that come with teaching a class.  

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