CRANFORD — Arguing that a reduction in their teaching hours would also cut down their ability to engage with students, adjunct professors at Union County College are pushing the school to preserve their workload.

Members of the Union County College chapter of the United Adjunct Faculty Federation of New Jersey say that the administration’s attempt to cap the number courses they can teach per semester will cause students’ education to suffer. The union argues that if part-time faculty members can’t earn living wages from teaching at the school, they’ll have to take on other jobs, giving them less time to work with students outside of class.

“Students get hurt by this,” said William Lipkin, co-president of the school’s union chapter and a history and political science instructor. “If they’re cutting back our hours, it means that we’re going to be on campus less, and that doesn’t lead to increased student retention or success or graduation rates.”

Adjunc faculty members are now able to teach four standard courses per semester, but school officials are looking to cut that down to three as part of the negotiation of a new contract, Lipkin said.

The drop in courseload would translate to a pay cut for adjuncts, who are paid per credit hour and do not earn benefits.

Union members delivered a petition with 321 signatures this week to the college’s Board of Trustees, calling the proposed pay cut unnecessary and a threat to their livelihoods.


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