Jefferson chapter stands with adjuncts for economic justice

Linda Stettenbenz, a Jefferson County member who serves on KFTC’s Economic Justice Committee, reached out to Jefferson Community and Technical College professors who are involved in an international movement to demand fair treatment for adjunct professors – professors who don’t have tenure and who often work for near-poverty wages with no job security from one semester to the next. Adjuncts at several colleges and universities opted for walk-outs; JCTC organizers opted for a teach-in.

The chapter decided to offer a statement of solidarity for the teach-in day. Stettenbenz, who took on drafting the statement and coordinating the chapter’s work on it, saw the collaboration as “a good opportunity for us to talk and listen about the connections between labor organizing and the need for fair and adequate revenue through tax reform.” The chapter’s statement is below:

 

Statement of Solidarity with Jefferson Community and Technical College Adjunct Teach-In Day

Members of Jefferson County Chapter of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC) endorse the efforts of Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) adjunct professors to improve the conditions of adjunct professors, students, and the community at large through a Teach-In on Wednesday, February 25, 2015.

JCTC serves 15,000 students on 6 campuses throughout Jefferson County. Many working parents, returning citizens and low-income adults find resources to improve their livelihoods through JCTC. The education and support that students receive helps build not only important opportunities for individual students but for the entire community to have better prepared professionals.

In order to best serve these outcomes, professors must be able to focus on their classes. With low pay, no benefits and no assurances of employment from term to term, teachers often juggle odd jobs and as many as ten classes on different campuses to make ends meet. Round after round of statewide budget cuts to higher education have made the situation continually worse.

We believe adjunct professors, students, and the community at large deserve better.

For 32 years, the Jefferson County chapter of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth has acted for justice and helped create a vision of a healthy local economy that values and sustains land, people and good opportunities for all. We speak out, offer and win solutions to make this vision a reality.

We understand that we all benefit when higher education is fairly and adequately funded. That’s why we lead efforts in Frankfort for fair and adequate revenue to invest in our communities. We have had incremental successes in these efforts, with much more to be done.

We are encouraged by the courage and leadership of adjunct professors to lead a public conversation about how we can do better together, and we look forward to further collaboration to help build the strong economy that values higher education and each other.

 

In solidarity,
The Jefferson County Chapter
of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

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