Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney and Sen. Sandra B. Cunningham this week introduced legislation that would enable adjunct professors to collect unemployment benefits — specifically, that adjuncts may not be refused these benefits during a summer, holiday or vacation break without “highly probable” assurance of reinstatement, reports Insider NJ.

It’s a bill that’s significant for multiple reasons, according to AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera.

“In the past decade, institutions of higher education began to hire more adjunct faculty/part-time lecturers to educate students,” Chiera said. “In many cases these professionals bring valuable real-life experiences to their classroom. At the same time, management viewed them not as professionals but as a cost-saving measure. This legislation not only begins to acknowledge them as the professionals they are, it allows them to receive a benefit in which they pay into.”

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