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Part-time faculty at Milwaukee Area Technical College demand their share of the pie

By staff

 American Federation of Teachers \[AFT\] Local 212 members demand a bigger piece of the pie. | Fight Back! News/staff

Milwaukee, WI – On Thursday, March 14 (Pi Day), the part-time bargaining unit of the American Federation of Teachers Local 212, which represents the part-time faculty of the Milwaukee Area Technical College, held a rally demanding their piece of the pie.

Over the years, Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) has bought into the general trend in higher education institutions across the U.S. of increased reliance on part-time and adjunct faculty to teach the bulk of courses. Like other industries, part-time workers in higher education institutions have limited access to benefits and receive less pay for their labor. While colleges and universities make record profits, the workers receive lower and lower compensation.

At MATC, part-time faculty earn lower pay relative to industry standards, lack course-assignment security, aren’t compensated for last minute assignment cancellations, face difficulties accessing healthcare and the pension, aren’t paid for attending onboarding sessions or departmental meetings, and receive a pay reduction for summer courses.

On top of these issues, MATC part-time workers were denouncing the college’s lack of compensation for part-time workers participating in non-student contact days, days when classes are canceled and workers participate in workshops or departmental meetings.

Speaking in solidarity with the workers of MATC, Pam Fendt, president of the Milwaukee Area Labor Council, stated, “When this action was raised at our delegates meeting earlier this month, we asked our union siblings in attendance if they believe in working for no pay, and it was a resounding no!”

Prior to Thursday, the rally had garnered much attention across the college, and administrators clearly took notice. On Monday, administrators released a message to all part-time faculty earlier this week that they could be compensated for participation in this year’s MATC Day, which is similar to a non-student contact day. This is a win that was secured through the power of an organized union. The rally continued as planned because even though the part-time faculty secured this win, the struggle for their share of the pie continues!

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