Bargaining Survey: Key Findings
Thanks to the 90 of you who took the time to respond to our bargaining survey ian November. Knowing what matters to you will help us to present your concerns to the administration when we sit down to bargain a new contract. A little over a third of our members responded to the survey, and responses were roughly representative of our membership: about half (54%) have taught 10 years or less, half (46%) 11 years or more. We will share some highlights from your written responses later, but here’s a summary of the numerical results:
- Members want more teaching: Though most respondents (75%) are already teaching at least 6 LHEs regularly, most respondents (72%) would teach more if given the chance.
- We’re in it for the long haul: 72% of respondents have already been here 6 or more years, but a large majority (64%) expect to teach here at least 6 more years, and 38% expect to continue at least 10 years longer.
- Adjunct teaching is a career: 44% report part time teaching, at Oakton or elsewhere, as their main income source (an additional 7% have other full-time teaching jobs); only 22% cite pensions or other family members as their main source of income, and a quarter (26%) cite other part-time or full-time non-teaching employment.
- Adjunct pay is OK, but higher pay is a high priority for most of us. The majority of respondents report being somewhat satisfied (52%) or very satisfied (14%) with pay, but higher pay per LHE was by far the single biggest issue when respondents ranked their priorities: over half named it their number one issue, and two-thirds ranked it first or second.
- Apart from pay, adjuncts seek a stable and predictable work environment, valuing seniority and job security. Though large majorities reported being at least somewhat satisfied with pay and course scheduling, half are very dissatisfied (30%) or somewhat dissatisfied (20%) with job security. More teaching, a better choice of assignments, and job security all outranked quality-of-life issues like office space, administrative support, and a voice in college governance. Narrative responses paint a similar picture: members want to know our schedule well in advance, and we don’t want to prepare for courses that we lose due to enrollment or being “bumped” by someone else.
- Most of us get health insurance elsewhere, and are content with it . . . About half get insurance through a family member (31%) from another family member or another employer (19%). Most of the rest buy insurance on their own (29%); only 12% purchase insurance through Oakton. Most respondents (70%) are content with their current coverage, though about half (53%) aren’t happy about their insurance cost.
- . . . but we want more affordable options. 49% would consider buying insurance through Oakton if the college subsidized the premium, and 42% would contribute to health savings accounts. Nearly two thirds reported being very dissatisfied (42%) or somewhat dissatisfied (23%) with Oakton’s insurance and benefits coverage.
- Health insurance is a polarizing issue. More than a quarter of respondents cited health insurance access as one of their top two issues, and an equal number cited this as among their lowest priorities. When members were asked to rank a series of issues in order of importance, health insurance came out in the middle (5th out of 10 issues) largely because it mattered so much to some folks and so little to others.
Share Your Story
To better represent your interests at the bargaining table, we need to hear from you! Numerical survey results are useful, but flesh-and-blood stories make the case compelling. When you tell us specific details about your life as an Oakton adjunct, we can be more convincing when we share those concerns with administration.
So please write to us and let us know what you’ve experienced – the good, the bad, the infuriating and the memorable. And please let us know who you are – your division and department, and how long you’ve been an Oakton adjunct. (We promise to respect your privacy, and won’t share identifying information with anyone, unless you invite us to).
Negotiating Team Members
AFA negotiating team members will make every effort to update members about contract negotiations. We understand that salary and benefits are the main areas of concern for adjuncts, but negotiations include other areas subject to bargaining. Please review the current contract to get a sense of the breadth of issues that my be covered during negotiations.
Adjunct Faculty Association
- Cheryl Thayer
- John Bishop
- Ruth Whitney
- Chris Langone
- Camille Grant (Illinois Education Association Uniserve Director)
Oakton Community College Administration
- Mum Martens (Chief Human Resources Officer)
- Linda Korbel (Dean – Division 3)
- Ruth Williams (Dean – Division 1)
- Edwin Chandrasekar (Vice President of Administrative Affairs)
- Philip Gerner (attorney for Oakton)
Training and Team Planning
AFA team members attended an IEA Negotiations workshop on January 7, 2017.
A member survey was emailed to all Oakton AFA members in November 2016. 90 members filled out the survey with valuable information that will help the negotiation team understand the ideas, thoughts and concerns of members.
Adjunct Focus meetings – drop in to share ideas
Monday, February 13th @ Noon RHC (Skokie) Room B209
Tuesday, February 14th @ Noon DP Room 2470
Tuesday, March 21st @ 5:30 RHC (Skokie) Room B209
Tuesday, March 28th @ 5:30 DP Room 2470