|Red Emma and Rebel Girl at UCI in 2017|
Adjuncts and their advocates often cite the University of California system’s non-tenure-track faculty union contracts as the gold standard: pay is relatively good, there’s a clear path to continuing appointments and benefits are available to those teaching half-time or more.
But one Irvine campus instructor's recent health crisis demonstrates just how vulnerable even the best protected non-tenure-track professors are.
'I did not want to be the poster boy for this particular challenge, but it kind of happened that way,' said Andrew Tonkovich, who has taught composition to thousands of students during his 22 years as a lecturer in English at Irvine. 'And under ideal circumstances, it is possible -- barely -- for someone like me to make something like a career out of continuing appointments here. But I’ve stumbled into this situation where what you would call the vulnerable elements of our working conditions are suddenly revealed, and it shows just how precarious it all is.'Consider signing the petition. As of this morning, 5,883 have.
Solidarity forever, baby.