Employment Compensation Initiative (AUCI) is motivated by a conviction that when adjunct faculty are unemployed through no fault of their own they are entitled to unemployment compensation, just like other workers.
The law prohibits teachers from collecting unemployment compensation over breaks if they have a “reasonable assurance” of employment following the break, but this law was clearly written with K-12 teachers in mind. Colleges and Universities clearly operate year-round, so the summer is not a “break.” This means that an adjunct faculty member who wants to teach during the summer but is not offered courses has been laid off, and is therefore entitled to unemployment compensation.
Even when an adjunct faculty member has an offer of courses for the Fall, that offer does not provide “reasonable assurance” of anything since it is contingent on enrollment or other factors that are beyond the control of the faculty member or of the employer. That is not an offer but an indication that an offer may be made if enough students enroll. Adjunct faculty thus have “reasonable assurance” of nothing.
This summer, lawyers from the USW will provide support to adjunct faculty members in Western Pennsylvania who want to apply for unemployment compensation.
If you’d like to be contacted about participating in the AUCI, please fill out the form below, and someone will get in touch with you.
The Adjunct Unemployment Compensation Initiative is a project of the Metro Volunteer Organizing Committee (MVOC) of the Adjunct Faculty Association of the United Steelworkers (AFA-USW). We are dedicated to strengthening the Pittsburgh region’s adjunct faculty community by organizing and finding creative ways to engage and support the educators who teach a majority of the college students in the area.