Today on the Sit Down, Dr. Amy Lynch-Biniek is back on the program to talk about the contract fight brewing in the PA State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). Amy is a faculty member in the English Department at Kutztown University and her research and writing engages questions of pedagogy, literacy, and labor studies. Her forthcoming book, Contingency, Exploitation, and Solidarity: Labor & Action in English Composition is a co-edited anthology with Seth Kahn & Bill Lalicker that explores the ways and means of labor reform on college campuses. She is the Chair of the State APSCUF Adjunct Faculty Committee and she is the current editor of Forum, a peer-edited journal from the National Council of Teachers of English.
The faculty union, APSCUF, has been working under an expired contract for almost a year. After refusing to negotiate for months, PASSHE negotiators showed up to the June 10th negotiation session with a contract proposal that seeks to fundamentally change - or “transform” labor conditions in Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities. Currently, APSCUF’s contract is considered by many in the higher education labor movement to be the gold standard when it comes to issues of parity, stability, and justice for adjunct faculty members. PASSHE seeks to change that.
In an episode Raging Chicken Radio’s Out d’Coup on June 15, I discussed PASSHE’s full proposal in detail if you’re interested in getting into the weeds a bit. At the core of PASSHE’s proposal is an attempt to divide and conquer the faculty - pitting tenured and tenure-track faculty against adjunct faculty. Amy wrote a piece for her blog this past Friday, “Why the Contract’s Treatment of Temporary Faculty Members Matters to Tenure-line Faculty,” that makes a case for solidarity among adjunct, tenure-track, and tenured faculty. Her article is now available on Raging Chicken Press as well. I’m glad to have her on the program once again to talk about her article and APSCUF’s contract fight.