Access to Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Contingent Faculty


Access to Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Contingent Faculty: A manual for applicants and a strategy to gain full rights to benefits by Joe Berry, Beverly Stewart, and Helena Worthen is now available in print or you may download it as a PDF at Chicago COCAL.

“DESPITE THE COMMON PERCEPTION that college professors enjoy the good life—pursuing their academic interests for weeks and even months on end, summers off, long breaks between semesters—more than fifty percent of those teaching on the college level are retained under tenuous conditions. Their employment is tied to student enrollment, budget allocations, institutional need, and other unpredictable events that may occur to either create a class or cancel it. They are, in other words, hired on a contingent basis: from year to year, semester to semester, or class to class. They do not have, to use the language of federal unemployment legislation, “reasonable assurance of re-employment.” Thus, much of their so-called free time is spent looking for other temporary work or worrying about their next semester’s income. During this open time they should be receiving unemployment insurance benefits.

This book is directed at all those who participate in the unemployment insurance benefits process —contingent academics who apply, unemployment personnel who take the claims, university and college administrators who approve or disapprove claims, and policy makers —all who have some power to improve these uncertain economic conditions, or one small piece of it, by ensuring unemployment insurance benefits to the substantial portion of the six to seven hundred thousand non-tenure track college teachers while they are between semesters. This booklet also aims to help unemployment insurance officials, higher education administrators, court and appeals process personnel, legislators and other elected officials understand the financial and emotional challenges the current system imposes on those charged with educating college students.”

– via Access to Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Contingent Faculty: A manual for applicants and a strategy to gain full rights to benefits

There will be two unemployment filing parties this May, both scheduled for the week of May 10. Basic info is below. Follow the links to download the flyers.
– Wednesday, May 12 at 2:00 pm – “High Tea” at the Russian Tea Time,  77 E. Adams, Chicago. RSVP to More info
– Saturday, May 15 at 1:00 pm at the IEA Chicago Office, 230 W. Monroe, Suite 2640. RSVP to More info

Read more about unemployment benefits and higher education:
– Joe Berry on unemployment insurance, college faculty, and the new economy in higher education: Unemployment Insurance, A Million College Faculty, and the New Economy in Higher Education
– Marc Bousquet on unemployment benefits and academia: How The University Works
– Listen to the WBEZ interview for Eight Forty-Eight about a report Dr. Bunsis, Professor of Accounting at Eastern Michigan University, prepared for UIC: Is University of Illinois Financial System Working?


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