Monday, November 23, 2009
False alarms and close shaves.
The process of assigning classes for the next semester is almost at an end. With the shrinking budget, the people with tenure and on tenure track get first dibs, and those of us who are adjuncts get to fight for the scraps. When the assignments first came out, I was given one 5 unit class. The cut-off for getting a deal on health insurance is 6 units. I went into squeaky wheel mode, and was rewarded with another 3 unit class, bringing my total to 8. It's not perfect, it doesn't cover my expenses, but it's a start, and given the budget mess, it's as good as I can expect.
I got my official assignment letter in the mail on Saturday. One 3 unit class. I sent off an e-mail to the department chair asking if the 5 unit class promised to me had been canceled or given to someone else. I got an e-mail reply early Monday morning that this was a clerical error and I'm supposed to teach 8 units this next term, barring either of my classes not having enough enrollment.
So I dodged a bullet and nothing worse happened to me than spending a Sunday in a foul mood, but others are in the position of just 3 units or just 5 units next term. If, like me, they don't have any work at another school, they seriously have to look at the option of going on unemployment instead. At 3 units, I would be making about $200 a week before taxes. I can double that on unemployment, so even at 5 units, weighing the option of unemployment instead of employment would still be in effect. I'm not sure the penny wise and pound foolish Republicans realize that all these teachers on the public payroll that are being squeezed out will still be cashing checks from the state without the state getting any work out of them.
I can agree with the wisdom of a super majority to pass a budget bill, but a two-thirds super majority is insane. If something isn't done to bring it down to 55% or so, California will remain ungovernable for the foreseeable future.