As a partial-load prof, I often feel the tension between giving my students what they need and doing my best with the time I have. I am not compensated for the dozens of emails I send my students each week that provides them with further thought and feedback. I literally read dozens of items (articles and books) in preparation for my classes, not including the countless hours at home marking and evaluating their work. While I love what I do, it’s becoming increasingly burdensome, and to the point that I can’t do certain things that I feel I need to do to help my students learn (I can’t, for example, allow them re-writes, since it would take a long time to re-mark those assignments). I’m hoping for full time soon, but unfortunately my college is in a ‘no hire’ position at the moment. Having worked hard to update my credentials (an MA in Humanities and a B.Ed) at my own expense (colleges do not reimburse partial-load faculty for courses taken outside the college), I have not been granted an opportunity to even apply for full time work, even though college enrollment is up 10% across the board.
A strike seems to be the only option, and the only way to get a proper settlement and get our voices heard; the college management is not willing to listen, and I would venture to say, is condescendingly numb to my concerns. It’s not a fun time during summer when I need to scramble to find extra hours here and there to make ends meet. That never seems to be a factor in their proposals.