Adjuncts sometimes say they make up higher education’s invisible class. So an idea pitched on social media a few months ago struck a chord: What would happen if adjuncts across the country turned that invisibility on its head by all walking out on the same day? National Adjunct Walkout Day, proposed for Feb. 25, immediately gained support, and adjuncts continue to use social media and other means of communication to plan what the protest will look like on their campuses. (IHE)
A week from tomorrow, February 25th, is National Adjunct Walkout Day. The event is aimed at drawing attention to both the high number of adjunct instructors employed at institutions of higher education, as well as the low pay, lack of benefits, and job insecurity they face. The above-quoted article in Inside Higher Ed, an article in The Atlantic, and a piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education detail some of the challenges the Walkout faces. These include concerns about retribution, the difficulties of organizing events like this anonymously, the fact that the population of adjuncts is frequently changing, unresponsive unions dominated by tenure-track and tenured faculty, and state laws about public employees striking.
There is more information and helpful links on the Walkout’s Facebook page. I would be interested in hearing what, if anything, permanent faculty will be doing to support adjuncts during the Walkout, and it would be especially worthwhile hearing from adjuncts about what they think their tenured and tenure-track faculty should be doing that day.