Emails to Membership During COVID-19

September 9, 2020

2020 AFA Board Officer Elections Results

In the 2020 AFA Board Officer Elections, there were 69 total ballots cast.  Here are the results:

For President

  • Cheryl Thayer wins with 67 votes
  • 2 write-in votes for Mary Hope Griffin

For Vice-President

  • Mary Hope Griffin wins with 67 votes
  • 1 write-in vote for Nelson Wainwright
  • 1 ballot left blank

For Secretary

  • Linda Berendsen wins with 67 votes
  • 2 ballots left blank

For Treasurer

  • Cindy Del Medico wins with 68 votes
  • 1 ballot left blank

If you have any questions about the election, please email

On Tuesday, September 8th at 2 pm Central the Elections Committee will count the votes and ballots in a live Zoom session.  All members are welcome to connect and attend the counting.  Information on joining the Zoom session will be sent to the email you registered with the AFA.  Email if you have any questions or have not received the Zoom meeting information by Tuesday morning.

August 12, 2020
All Member Meeting, Wednesday, August 19th, 4-5:50pm via Zoom.
Advanced registration is required. Please use Zoom to Register.                                             **Three free prizes (gift certificates!) will be awarded randomly to attendees.

Elections Elections will be held electronically via Survey Monkey August 30th-September 7th.  Please watch your email for the link. See the AFA Website for more information about the candidates for the Executive Board and election details.

Orientation Week Workshops                                                                                                Many adjunct faculty asked for evening sessions during
Orientation Week. Please note that on Thursday evening there are many valuable sessions scheduled. Take advantage of this timing designed just for you!

Return to Campus Orientation 2020 D2L Module Completion
The AFA negotiated with the College that adjunct faculty members who are not physically returning to campus, do not need to complete until the D2L Module until August 31st. You may use your Office Hours to review this important information.

Concerns about Course Assignments? Please reach out and let us know if you
have questions or concerns about your course assignments for the fall. Rules of seniority still apply. Email us at:

Contract Negotiations Our current contract expires in a year, so know that we will be
asking for your input about framing our next contract.

Employee Assistance Program ALL Oakton Employees are able to utilize this free
service offered by the College. This program provides confidential, professional services to address a variety of person, family, life and work-related issues. For more information: EAP_and_Work-Life_Benefits

Unemployment Please contact AFA President, Cheryl Thayer at if you received Unemployment Insurance over the summer. She has important information to share with you.

Health Insurance The IEA and the Higher Education Council have made little headway in finding health insurance for contingent faculty. We did find The Chicago Music Society and its insurance offers health care insurance for individuals/families and you do not need to be a musician. They have 2 or 3 options to select from. Click Here to Visit the Website. 

Please contact AFA President, Cheryl Thayer at with

Your Covid-19 & Oakton Story Linda Berendsen is collecting stories and images
(300 words or fewer) for our next newsletter. Please send submissions to

June 18, 2020
From the Adjunct Faculty Association (AFA)If you are not a part-time faculty member who taught courses at Oakton in Spring 2020, you can stop reading; this message does not apply to you.

If you are an Oakton part-timer who taught in Spring 2020 and participated in CPD training, D2L training offered by the Office of Online Learning, or other training recommended by your dean or department chair to prepare for remote instruction, you can receive payment for up to 2 hours of that training. You do not need to provide documentation or evidence that you participated.

How do I get it?

You must fill out the Google form linked below and submit it by June 25, 2020. In order to access the survey you will need to be logged in to myOakton.

How much can I get?

The payment is based on your per-LHE pay rate, and you can be paid for up to 2 hours at the standard rate of .022 LHEs per hour. (Example: if your pay rate is $1270 per LHE and you participated in 2 hours of training, you can receive $1270 x .022 x 2 = $55.88).

When will I get paid?

Payments will be made on or before July 24, 2020.

What if I have already reached my LHE load limit?

The College has agreed to make the payment even to those who have reached their load limit for Spring semester (13 LHEs) or for the 2019-20 academic year (27 LHEs), provided that they would not have exceeded their limit if not for this payment.

What’s the catch?

There are several:

  1. Payments will be made from the fund for adjunct faculty professional development (see the adjunct faculty contract Section 3.9D, p. 18). As of June 15 there is plenty in the fund for 2019-2020 to cover all the anticipated payments, but once the fund is depleted no more payments will be made.

2.The payment is subject to the individual annual limits for professional development, which are $375 for 2019-20 or $750 for 2019-2021. If you have already reached your individual limit, you aren’t eligible for this payment.

  1. In order to be eligible for payment,you must submit the linked Google form (at the bottom of this message) by June 25, 2020.

Why is this payment being made?

The payment is the result of negotiation between the Adjunct faculty Association (AFA) and the College. We share an interest in ensuring the continuity of course delivery in emergencies such as COVID-19.

How can I learn more?

The full text of two COVID-19-related Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs) between the AFA and the College are available here.  You can direct questions to the AFA here:

Link to the form:

May 30, 2020

Dear AFA Members,

Your union leadership has a few important reminders and suggestions as we head into summer.

  1. Return to Work Plan:  We are reviewing the College’s Return to Work Plan.  Please let us know if you have any particular concerns.
  2. Fall Courses:  As you know, courses in the fall will be taught on-line (with a few exceptions).  Please be in touch with your chair about whether you would like to do this synchronously or asynchronously.  If your department has guidelines about teaching on-line, please share them with us.
  3. Teaching On-Line -ION Courses:  These are professional development courses put together by a consortium of Illinois colleges and universities.  The office of On-Line Learning at Oakton will pay for one course per semester.  If you haven’t taken any, you should start with the Overview.  The link to register is:  Use Oakton’s discount code: EU207.  Send Ray Lawson, the Dean of On-Line Learning at Oakton ( the invoice.  You can also contact your division administrative staff for reimbursement for additional courses using your professional development funds.
  4. D2L Training: Center for Professional Development (CPD) at Oakton is offering classes in D2L.  Here is the schedule:
  5. Unemployment:  The Illinois Education Association (IEA) is hosting webinars on how to file for Unemployment.  See attachment for schedule and registration.
  6. Reimbursement for Equipment:  We are continuing to work with the College on reimbursement for equipment required to transition to remote and on-line learning.

As always, please reach out if we can help.

Check our website for further details:

In Solidarity,

The AFA Board

May 9, 2020
Last Day of the Semester Virtual Happy Hour–Friday, May 15 at 4pmWe have been thinking about you, and want to see your faces!Join for Happy Hour on Friday, May 15 at 4:00pm.  Bring your favorite drink, and catch up.We will host a quick meeting, followed by a casual check-in depending on the number of participants.If you would like to ask the AFA Board a question in advance, please add it to the form below and we will answer it.

Note: YOU MUST fill out this form to be sent a link to enter the meeting. This is simply to prevent uninvited Zoom bombing guests.  If you want to be included, but can’t figure out the Google form, just reply to this email saying you would like to come.

May 6, 2020Update on Oakton AFA Elections (Motion Passed on 5/6):

“The election for the AFA Officers is postponed until after the Illinois state government’s stay-at-home order is lifted and Oakton’s campus reopens.  Following IEA guidance and the AFA’s bylaws, the current officers will continue to serve in their positions after their term expires in a temporary capacity until such time as holding the election is practicable.  Once the Oakton administration decides on a timeline for campus to reopen, the Elections Committee will set a new date for the Officer election and inform all AFA members at least 15 days in advance of the election, in accordance with AFA bylaws.”
April 20, 2020

Dear Fellow Oakton Adjunct Faculty Members,

We wanted to let you know about our on-going conversations with the administration during this incredibly stressful time.

First, please let us know immediately if you are having difficulty finishing the Spring semester on-line.  We will be happy to connect you with whatever resources you might need.

Summer: The summer schedule is clearly an issue for many of us.  After full time faculty, seniority remains the underlying premise for who should get to teach first.  However, the presence of already existing on-line classes is also a factor.  If you were offered a face-to-face class for the summer earlier this spring and are being denied an opportunity to teach this course on-line this summer, please let us know.  There are a myriad of special circumstances, but we’d be happy to help you sort this out if you if you feel as if you have been treated unfairly.

Fall: If you tuned into the President’s Coffee & Conversation ( Listen to the recording here )on Thursday, you know that the future is complicated.  For those teaching in the sciences, the cuts have been very severe because of the inability to have labs.  What the Fall of 2020 looks like is very uncertain.  Our best recommendation is to equip yourselves now by taking ION courses and participating in professional development workshops offered by the Center for Professional Development.  Where appropriate, work on converting your courses to on-line courses.  This is different from what many of us are doing now in this remote learning environment, as we will not have the luxury of any assumed synchronous class time.

Unemployment: Should you be denied classes this summer that you were already offered, know that you are eligible for Unemployment Insurance.  The federal government’s CARES Act specifically includes adjunct faculty members and the National Education Association (the national organization of the IEA of which you are a member) worked hard to lobby for our inclusion.   More information can be found on our website:

Survey:  If you have not had a moment to do it, please fill out the survey we sent out last week.  Here is the link:

It should take less than 5 minutes to complete.

On-Going Conversation:  The preliminary data we received from this survey was quite useful in our conversations with Ileo Lott, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Colette Hands, the Chief Human Resources Officer.  We are advocating for a number of the issues that you all have raised.  We have now received written confirmation that adjunct faculty librarians, tutors, and coaches will be fully compensated through the spring semester.

The AFA Board

April 13, 2020Below is a link to a survey from the Adjunct Faculty Association about the impact that the shift to online learning at Oakton because of COVID-19 has had on you.  Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey, as the answers will help the AFA be more effective advocates for all of our interests.  The survey should only take about 5 minutes to complete.  Feel free to share with other Oakton adjunct faculty members who might not be on our list.

April 5, 2020

Dear Fellow Part-time and Adjunct Faculty Members,

The AFA (Adjunct Faculty Association) had a meeting Thursday with Ileo Lott, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and with Collette Hands, Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Office.  We will continue to have regularly scheduled meetings with them.  We recognize that there are many issues that are worrisome about the week and months ahead at Oakton, and hopefully the information below will answer some of your questions.  Please reach out to us if you have particular questions or concerns.  We cannot advocate for you if we do not know what issues you are confronting in your division, department, or individual circumstance.

  1. Summer:  As your chair may have informed you, the college is going 100% on-line for the summer.
  • Most classes that were face to face classes will be converted to on-line sections if a pre-existing on-line version of the course exists.
  • The rules of seniority spelled out in our contract continue to apply, making everyone eligible to teach on-line.
  • If you have not completed formal training in teaching on-line (beyond the crash courses of the last few weeks), you are asked to complete trainings that will be made available to you by Oakton and the Center for Profession Development (CPD).  However, you will not be required to do so.
  • But yes, full-time faculty can still bump you.
  • If you feel as if your chair is not following this protocol, please contact us so we can advocate on your behalf.
  1. Faculty covered by 9.2 of our Contract: Librarians, coaches, tutors (embedded and those working in the Learning Center), counselors hired before 2013 will all be paid for all the LHEs originally assigned to them for the semester.
  2. “Paused” course with clinical hours, hands-on music/art, or programs that require student-hands-on practice, automotive, nursing, EMT/Fire fighters, and others, these faculty will be paid but will have to finish teaching the students in their class environments at a time to be determined after the College reopens.  This will be formalized with an MOU (memorandum of understanding) negotiated by the AFA and the college administration.
  3. Technology issues:  If you are having trouble with technology (your computer or wi-fi), please reach out to your dean, your chair, or to IT and copy us.  The college is committed to making sure you have the resources you need.  We will help you hold them accountable.
  4. Professional Development:  Please keep careful track of any training sessions you attend, Webinars you take, etc. These can be counted toward your “Continued Eligibility.”
  5. Classroom Observations: The only observations that will occur this semester are for classes that were initially on-line and for which an observation was required this semester.
  6. Student Evaluations:  Only classes originally on-line will be evaluated this summer.
  7. Participation in the decision-making process:  While there are no adjunct faculty members on the President’s Council or CoCac (Council of Chairs & Coordinators), the AFA is doing its best to raise issues with the administration through regular communication of issues.  Please email us or go to our website and we will attempt to address your concern as soon as possible.
  8. Watch your email for a survey:  We want more information from you so we can continue to advocate your behalf.

Be well!!

The AFA Board


Dear AFA Members,

Over the last few days, you have received emails from President Smith and the college regarding Oakton’s continued campus closure through April 24th.  You were also informed about the agreement that has been reached with the staff union.

Please know we continue to advocate to protect your rights and well-being and to seek clarity about how this will impact adjunct and part-time faculty.  President Smith has acknowledged that we are among the most vulnerable populations of employees at the college. However, we are all in uncharted territory.

Please be in touch with us if you have particular questions.  We are aware that there are special issues for library faculty, coaches, faculty-tutors, and faculty teaching hands-on classes.  We know some of you may lack technology or reliable wi-fi. A few steps that would help us help you.

·      If you have not heard from your chair, please let us know immediately.

·      If you have not already done so or need help doing so, fill out the technology survey sent by John Wade.  If that proves too complicated, please simply inform your chair and copy us. Click here to fill it out: Technology Survey

·      Let us know of any other concerns you might have.

·      Share this email with your fellow part-time and adjunct faculty who may not be on our list.

·      If you are living alone, and would like someone to call and periodically check in on you, please let us know.

Stay safe and be gentle with yourselves!

The AFA Board


Dear AFA Members,

We wanted to let you know that we are thinking about you. The Adjunct Faculty Association board members are doing our best to advocate for your health (both mental and physical) and to protect your rights as faculty members.  We have been in touch with many members of the administration and the full-time faculty union.

Unless you are already teaching on-line, the rapid move to on-line teaching clearly adds a layer of uncertainty.  To begin the transition to on-line teaching, please immediately fill out the technology survey sent out by John Wade to let the college know exactly how much access to technology you have.  Here’s the link to the survey.

We also recognize that many faculty are over the age of 60 or have other health challenges.  Others adjunct faculty may also now have children at home, making working from home even more difficult.   We also realize that some of you are not big users of D2L and may have no experience teaching on-line.  We are doing our best to advocate for you on all fronts.

For those of you who are librarians, tutors, and coaches there are other questions about compensation.

The college has established an email to send questions:

If you email them, please copy the AFA at so we can try to track responses for everyone.

We honestly believe that the administration is working in good faith with all our best interests at heart.  Yes, mistakes have been made and communication not as clear as it could have been, but the administration has never faced anything like this themselves.  These are days to be gentle with ourselves and each other.

Please feel free to forward this to other adjunct faculty members, as our list is incomplete.

Please also communicate with us about any other issues we might be overlooking.  CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL RESOURCES.  

Take care of yourselves,

The AFA Board

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