Fight for your rights

Ferris’ reluctance to bargain only hurts my education

I have two jobs. I work nearly 35 hours a week between the two of them. Before I was in school I worked full time. I know what it’s like to work in environments that don’t always seem fair, level or even remotely logical, but I do know about one thing several faculty members don’t: job security.

Even in my part-time positions I have more job security than that of a nontenured-track staff member here at Ferris. I have health insurance, life insurance, optical, dental and disability coverage. With good behavior and performance, I have full confidence I will still be employed six months from now.

This is not a statement 20 percent of the Ferris professors can say. Simply put: They don’t even have the same rights and privileges as the students they’re teaching.

The Ferris Nontenure-Track Faculty Organization reports that some teachers make less than $25,000 a year. This is someone who holds at minimum a Master’s Degree, teaching at about half of their potential earning power.

It may be true that the economy is terrible, but we shouldn’t sacrifice education, the key to the future generation, by turning college professors into chattel. Using the economic recession to bully people into what little money they make is a tasteless way of saying you don’t really care about your staff or their well being.

My professors deserve the same things that I have. They deserve to have a raise every once in a while. They deserve fair pay for fair work. They deserve full benefits, and, at the very least, the security to know that in six months they’ll still have a job.

The university claims giving these professors their fair share of a salary and benefits would raise tuition again. This is backed up by the fact that state funding of Ferris has been cut by $7 million this year.

Here’s the problem I keep running into with this logic: Tuition was going to be raised anyway. It always is. Maybe instead of cutting the source of where my education is coming from, they can look to some of the other things around the university that aren’t necessary, like those fancy ergonomic chairs that dot every cubicle in FLITE. I’ll give you a hint – each chair costs approximately $300. Next time you visit FLITE, or for that matter any newly renovated building, count how many of those bad boys you see. That’s your tuition dollars hard at work. You pay more to sit on your ass than you pay for some of your professors to teach a class.