Dear Dr. McCallin,
I am a part-time instructor in the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) and a PhD student at a nearby university. I want to thank you for your thoughtfulness and dialogue with respect to Community College Pay and Benefits Equality Act of 2014 (HB14-1154).
This is a tough issue, and as I’m sure you know, one that is receiving national attention. Colorado has the opportunity to lead the nation in providing better conditions for one of the most vital groups on campus–the group that has the most direct impact on serving students–educators.
I’m sure you know the financial situation of the CCCS better than just about anyone. I trust that if it is possible to allocate future funds to pay educators a living wage, while not putting the CCCS in an absolutely dire position, then you will use those funds to move away from an unjust and unsustainable model that has many adjuncts in a dire position; that treats a large percentage of educators as disposable labor, and as a means to the end of financial (but not social) health.
Fortunately, my income from the CCCS is supplemental. If I cannot secure one of the few (much desired) full time positions in the CCCS, I’m confident that I have the skills and motivation to be successful somewhere else. But that is a shame. I love teaching in the CCCS more than anything else that I do. Much of the private sector–the big banks and insurance companies in particular, with their unethical practices–don’t deserve the skills that I may be able to provide to them. The CCCS does. Those who serve our community as educators need some sort of reasonable financial incentive to stay. I promise you, it will pay dividends.