A key committee of the Colorado legislature on Monday approved a groundbreaking bill that would assure community colleges’ adjunct instructors seniority rights, some level of job security, and the same pay and benefits as full-timers per hour worked.
The State House of Representatives’ Committee on State, Veterans, and Military Affairs voted, 7 to 4, along strict party lines, to pass the measure, called the Community College Pay and Benefits Act of 2014. The vote followed a three-and-a-half-hour hearing in which adjunct instructors and Democratic lawmakers praised the measure as necessary to remove pay inequities and preserve educational quality, and college administrators and Republican lawmakers opposed it as too costly, burdensome to colleges, and likely to lead to big tuition increases.
Even some Democratic lawmakers who voted for the measure voiced doubts about the state’s ability to pay the costs associated with the proposed improvements in adjunct instructors’ working conditions. They argued, however, that the proper place to discuss such financial concerns was the bill’s next stop in the legislature, the House Appropriations Committee. <Read more.>