Dr. Jessica Saint-Paul has served on the Guild’s Adjunct Faculty Issues Committee (AFIC) for 2½ years. As the AFIC’s current chair, she is excited to be taking the committee in new directions.
“As the adjunct arm of the union, we’re reaching out to our chapter presidents so that they understand our issues,” she says. “We’re also making sure that adjunct faculty know their rights.”
One way they accomplish that is to be sure that all departments have adjunct reps. “Some seats were vacant,” she says, “so we’re making sure those seats get filled. Being part of departmental decisions gives us a voice.”
The revitalized committee was involved in the recent negotiations process, mobilizing to urge the negotiating team to fight for improved health insurance coverage for adjuncts, which has been especially crucial during the pandemic. Their advocacy helped to attain an MOU for continued coverage for adjuncts during the pandemic.
“Many adjuncts lost classes but thankfully, they won’t lose their health insurance,” Dr. Saint-Paul says. “We also pushed for career increments, which we achieved as a first step in attaining equity.”
Dr. Saint-Paul, whose background is in public health sciences/health occupations and who is a part-time Physician Assistant at a high school campus clinic, says AFIC is a strong committee with good participation.
“We had representation on the negotiating team and participated in phone banking for the trustee election,” she notes. “Our members serve on Academic Senate committees so adjunct voices are heard.”
The committee members are working on updating the Adjunct Survival Guide and is coming out with a new guide dealing with dual enrollment.
“I’m honored to be in this position,” Dr. Saint-Paul says. “I had no idea how much we could do.”