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Adjunct faculty members at Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Michigan form union

Michigan Live

Kalamazoo Valley Community College president Marilyn Schlack

The part-time faculty members at Kalamazoo Valley Community College have officially formed their own collective bargaining unit with the American Federation of Teachers Michigan.

The Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) counted the ballot votes on Thursday, resulting in a 162-38 vote by part-timers to be represented by the KVCC Federation of Teachers.

"The term ‘part-time’ or ‘non-tenure-track’ does not denote ‘inferior,’” said Dr. Catherine Barnard, a part-time psychology instructor of 15 years. “Years of service and dedication to our students should be rewarded. We have earned the right to fair compensation, academic freedom, and timely semester appointments. Our level of education, professionalism, and commitment to our students is equivalent to that of the full-time tenured faculty."

More than half of the for-credit classes taught at KVCC in 2010-11 were taught by part-time instructors, according to KVCC Director of Planning, Research and Assessment Stephen A. Cannell.

Part-time faculty members made up a majority of the KVCC faculty as of the end of 2011, with more than 300 of the college's 500-some faculty members working part-time.
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