PATFA President Michele Cheung (left) speaks with PATFA member Anette Ruppel Rodrigues at a PATFA Annual Meeting in Orono. PATFA Vice President Jim Seymour listens. Cheung teaches English at the University of Southern Maine. Rodrigues teaches German at the University of Maine. (Photo Courtesy of PATFA member Dee Peppe)
Within just five hours, the University of Maine System and one of its universities offered conflicting statements Jan. 10 about spring semester practices amid the pandemic.
PATFA suspects it will be a long semester.
At 11:30 a.m. Jan. 10, the chancellor, Dannel Malloy, announced that the first two weeks of the spring semester would involve in-person learning and flexibility for the seven-university system. At 4:30 p.m. Jan. 10, the University of Maine at Augusta announced:
"The first two weeks of classes [for UMA] will be taught remotely (with a few exceptions). Anyone with an onsite experience
Summer is upon us, and parents, children and teachers are winding down from what has been an exhausting and fully operational school year—the first since the devastating pandemic. The long-lasting impact of COVID-19 has affected our students’ and families’ well-being and ignited the politics surrounding public schools. All signs point to the coming school year unfolding with the same sound and fury, and if extremist culture warriors have their way, being even more divisive and stressful.
In AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest New York Times column, she describes what it is exactly that unions do. Though unions are the most popular they have been in decades, anti-union sentiment still thrives in red states and across the nation. “Several years ago, The Atlantic ran a story whose headline made even me, a labor leader, scratch my head: ‘Union Membership: Very Sexy,’” Weingarten writes in the column. “The gist was that higher wages, health benefits and job security—all associated with union membership—boost one’s chances of getting married. Belonging to a union doesn’t actually guarantee happily ever after, but it does help working people have a better life in the here and now.” Click through to read the full column.
The American Federation of Teachers reports that an alarming number of adjunct faculty members are scraping by on poverty wages: Nearly 25 percent rely on public assistance to survive, and a whopping 40 percent have trouble covering basic household expenses. The April 2020 report, “An Army of Temps: AFT 2020 Adjunct Faculty Quality of Work/Life Report,” debunks the idea of college professors as well-established, stably employed and highly-respected intellectuals and unveils the truth: Part-time and contingent faculty are among the most vulnerable workers, members of a gig economy that offers
Orono, Maine -- Maine’s higher education leaders on June 4 issued a statement of principles for safely reopening their campuses this fall. It summarizes the $4.5 billion impact and describes essential functions of the state’s 38 colleges and universities. The Framework for Reopening Maine's Colleges and Universities in Fall 2020 includes strategies and practices that can be implemented in partnership with civil and public health leaders to improve safety on campus and limit the spread of Covid-19.
Maine’s colleges and universities acted swiftly in March to protect their 76,200 students, 20,000
Dear colleagues: Finals Week is just the beginning. So your Part-time Faculty Association of Maine (PATFA) offers this update on issues affecting all of us in May 2020 – as well as the months ahead.
First, the University of Maine System is still calculating its Fiscal Year 2020 costs, and the vice chancellor for finance told university union leaders April 23 that the July state revenue forecasts for the Legislature should be watched closely for clues to how the System’s funding will be affected in the new fiscal year. Until then, lots of questions remain unanswered.