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Letter: ECC adjunct professors deserve to be better paid

ECC adjunct professors deserve to be better paid

I recently listened to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz’s State of the County speech. It seems his plan to spend $70,000 to study why the county should ban plastic grocery bags has ruffled a lot of feathers, as it should. We all know those bags are bad for the environment; we don’t need to spend $70,000 for a study.

If the county has $70,000 for this ridiculous study, then it should use it to pay county employees. After six long years, the county recently settled the contract with our union, the FFECC, at Erie Community College. In this new contract, the county has awarded raises to the faculty, however, for part-time professors, that raise amounted to a mere $150 per three-credit hour course, totaling $1,950 per course, well below most colleges in New York State.

That’s not the worst of it. The union, the county and the administration agreed to pay only full-time faculty retro pay for the six years there was no contract, but no retro pay for part-time faculty. I have been there 13 years, but most have worked at ECC only a few years because they cannot afford to stay. We are all members and we all pay dues to the same union. Every union person I have told this to has been appalled.

Shame on the county, the union and the administration of ECC. If the county has an extra $70,000 to spend on a ridiculous study for banning plastic grocery bags, it should pay the adjunct professors of ECC the pay they are entitled to. ECC is one of the lowest-paying colleges in New York State, especially for adjuncts.

Sharon Shackelford