The sequel to Degrees of Shame began as a 30-minute sampler of types of situations and styles of organizing. However, it has become what I am now calling a two-hour video handbook titled A Simple Matter of Justice: Contingent Faculty Organize.
The original 30-minute sampler is now the preface which briefly introduces each of the situations I have taped, and in addition, analyzes the growing use of contingent faculty. After that, each situation will be expanded to a Chapter lasting 15 to 30 minutes.
The epilogue or Afterword was taped at the COCAL IV conference in San Jose in January, 2001, which brought together contingent faculty, organizers, lawyers, concerned full-time faculty, sympathetic students, and politicians from across Canada and the United States to share information, tactics, and inspiration. The entire video handbook focuses on what part-timers and their allies are doing to change the working conditions documented in Degrees Of Shame. For the new tape, researcher Andrea Tuttle Kornbluh and I chose to highlight six distinct situations that could serve as models for groups facing similar barriers. Included are part-time faculty in the California Community College system who are organizing statewide to change state laws; Boston part-timers who are organizing on a regional basis because of the vast number of schools there; part-time faculty at Columbia College in Chicago who organized themselves into a union in an institution where the full-time faculty is not unionized; part-time faculty from many locations in Canada who are joining the full-time faculty union, but starting out with separate bargaining units; part-timers in Seattle Washington who are suing the state; and part-timers at Northern Kentucky University who actually have a university president who believes that part-time faculty should be treated with respect, dignity and parity.
Degrees of Shame looked at the issue of part-timers and said, "This is just awful." A Simple Matter of Justice says, "And this is what we're doing about it." This follow-up tape is a look at the nuts and bolts of where to begin, what to expect, how to organize, who's out there to help, and where we go from there. Those are the kinds of things that it looks at. It's my hope that it will be useful to those groups who know the problems they're facing and are ready to do something about them.