Can you laugh and be serious at the same time? Commentary from an adjunct’s first CCA Conference
Updated: Jul 6, 2019
Everyone loves to laugh. CCA conference attendees love to laugh more. It was in an atmosphere of humor that I found the forums, workshops, mealtimes and meetings. In every session and at every meal, I both heard merriment and laughed a lot. Do not misunderstand me though, Union business is not amusing as there are wrongs that need to be put right, and many egregious issues that face faculty, students, and the educational profession in both our colleges and in Sacramento. However, I got a strong sense that union members were not only resolute to get things done, but equally determined to enjoy the process. And they did it with such relish, thoughtfulness, and compassion. Conference officials were attentive and considerate of everyone’s point of view surrounding the issues discussed. One issue, which resonated with me as an adjunct, addressed the poor treatment part-timers receive in the form of job insecurity, pay, lack of benefits, and lack of respect from administration. Deliberations were centered around finding ways to improve working conditions through proposed Assembly Bills currently under consideration. For me, this was welcomed dialog. The conference also gave me a safe place to air grievances. I was not judged, or received punitive retaliation for speaking up, as I have incurred at my campus. For example, I was able to express my concerns regarding the loss of classes to a less senior adjunct, along with other objections regarding unfair treatment.
It is with tremendous gratitude I found my first “meeting of the minds” with people who know we are not isolated, as some would have us believe. I was delighted to meet many mentors with words of wisdom, and golden nuggets of sound truth. Networking opportunities abounded and are vital to our sustainability and viability. So, I urge you to speak up about any concerns you may have by attending the next CTA meeting on campus or upcoming conference. Not only will you find support for your profession, advice for the infringements you may have experienced, but kind consideration for yourself as an educator. We have a unified union who cares about you and me. Please join in the ongoing discussions. We can have hope for a brighter future, but with inclusion of our voice.
A Fellow SBCCDTA Voice