NFM engages in advocacy by organizing adjunct and contingent faculty and their supporters; through general educational efforts and by taking public stands on issues or on behalf of individuals or groups when there are ramifications for all adjunct and contingent faculty.
Examples of NFM’s public advocacy include:
- March 2013: NFM submitted comments on the Affordable Care Act to the Department of the Treasury and the IRS.
- April 23, 2013: The op-ed of Maria Maisto, president of NFM, titled “There’s Something Sneaky Going On At Colleges Across America,” was published on TakePart.com.
- Nov. 14, 2014: Maria Maisto, president of NFM, testified at the Department of Education’s open forum on the Obama administration’s plan to address college value and affordability at George Mason University. Deputy Under Secretary Jamienne Studley moderated the forum. Read her testimony.
- Nov. 14, 2014: Maria Maisto, president of NFM, testified at the House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing on “The Effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Schools, Colleges, and Universities.”
- Jan. 24, 2014: NFMF held a briefing for congressional staffers on “Higher Education Adjunct Faculty Working Conditions and the Legislative Agenda.” On that same date, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce Democratic Staff released its report on contingent faculty in higher education, “The Just-In-Time Professor,” the result of Rep. George Miller’s (D-Calif.) e-Forum that collected stories from 845 adjunct faculty in 41 states.
When and where possible, NFM advocates for individual faculty members or groups in consultation with them. In some cases, NFM’s advocacy efforts may be part of an existing project, such as the Unemployment Compensation Initiative.
NFM’s first course of action is to gather as much information as possible and to direct the individual or group to the appropriate resources. NFM believes that adjunct and contingent faculty members are entitled to all the information they need in order to make informed choices about the course(s) of action they wish to take.
Actions that NFM may take, depending on the indivdual circumstances of each case, include:
- Providing information, including research and helpful contacts
- Writing an official letter to an institution (college, university, or union)
- Setting up an online petition or other communication campaign
- Facilitating contact with the media
- Facilitating fundraising in support of legal or humanitarian causes (these are decided on a case-by-case basis and are dependent on available resources)
Advocacy on behalf of union members
NFM seeks to work collaboratively with unions to protect the rights of adjunct and contingent faculty members and to advocate for quality higher education that respects both students and faculty.
NFM works to ensure that unions are doing all that they are legally and morally obligated to do to support adjunct or contingent union members. We encourage all adjunct and contingent faculty union members to participate fully in their unions and to make use of all established channels and practices available for exercising internal and external grievances.
Faculty who are union members are also encouraged to join The Association for Union Democracy to support its mission of strengthening the internal democracy that “makes unions stronger and better able to fight for the rights and interests of working people.”
Advocacy on behalf of non-unionized faculty members
NFM believes that all faculty, indeed all workers, have the right to organize, including for the purpose of collective bargaining should they elect to do so. NFM supports the efforts of adjunct and contingent faculty to organize whether or not they have access to collective bargaining, and to work to change laws that deny access to collective bargaining where such laws exist.
Where adjunct and contingent faculty do not have any kind of official professional association or union, NFM encourages and facilitates the community building necessary to allow such faculty to work toward the kind of organizing structure that they believe will best serve their interests.
Collaborations and Partnerships
NFM is open to collaborations and partnerships that are focused on supporting and improving professional working conditions for all faculty off the tenure track.
To contact NFM to discuss an advocacy effort or a cooperative effort, click here or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (216) 262-4375.