The Clark College Association for Higher Education has sanctioned a strike vote for December 7th. Our part-time faculty are especially vulnerable. Many part-timers at Clark work term-to-term with no contract and no benefits. If their class is canceled, they have no recourse. They can also be dismissed with no cause. Yet, so many of them love teaching and will work at three or sometimes four different colleges to cobble together a living. 
Clark College has become increasingly dependent on part-time professors but refuses to pay them what they're worth.  The faculty union and the College have been in negotiations for a year and in mediation since June, but the College refuses to acknowledge the union's proposal to pay their part-time professors a living wage. (A part-time professor makes half the amount of a full-time professor for the same work.) The College's latest offer for a two-year contract equates to about $40/wk more for a part-timer teaching 10 credits. 
Clark students deserve professors who are valued...professors who can focus on helping them succeed, not professors who are preoccupied with every day survival such as trying to scrape up enough gas money to get to school. 
In an effort to come to agreement, the faculty union team has reduced their proposal by half, but the College team refuses to compromise. Hence, a strike vote looms closer, and these funds could be necessary as soon as early December.
These funds will be used for the incidental expenses related to strikes such as signs, food, and other essentials needed on the picket line in the winter. It's possible that these funds won't be used. If that's the case, any donations will automatically be returned to the donors in less than 90 days. 
Clark's part-time professors sacrifice so much to support their love of teaching. Your generosity will go a long way in helping ensure their peace of mind so that they can focus on what really matters to them - their students!


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Suzanne Southerland 
Vancouver, WA
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