December, 2014 CLC-AFO Adjunct Newsletter

Dear Colleagues:

The Semester is Winding Down: The semester is ending and the holidays are upon us. We wish you a good last few weeks of the semester and a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season.

ADJUNCT FACULTY ACCOMPLISHMENTS: This month we have two outstanding achievements to showcase.

In this issue we recognize:

Penny Dawn Steffen of the English Department:

Penny, under the pseudonym Sasha Dawn, has released her 8th novel, OBLIVION via Egmont USA. It is a psychological thriller for ages 14 and up. Currently, it’s available in hardcover but the paperback may be released in the spring.

Additionally, she has sold her second thriller, TIGHTROPE. It will be available spring 2016, and she has had some interest expressed in its movie rights, too!


Ed Bates of the History Department:

Ed has developed a special topics class that is both interesting and very timely.

History 299 – 001 Special Topics in History: U.S. Immigration and Ethnicity

Spring Semester,2015; Tuesday and Thursday 12:30 – 1:45 PM

Ed told me: “The story of immigration to America is as old as the country’s origins and as contemporary as today’s paper. This course will examine how immigration and ethnicity have shaped our nation from the perspective of newcomers, the resident citizens, the law, and the evolving culture of the country. One of our major goals will be to put contemporary discussions over border security, immigration reform, ethnicity, and American identity into a larger historical context.” Be sure to mention this class to your students.

Congratulations to Penny and good luck to Ed.

If you have completed an advanced degree, published a book or paper, presented a paper at a professional conference, made teacher of the year, etc. let me (Brian Smith) know and I will mention you in the newsletter. This is my favorite part of the newsletter as we get a chance to acknowledge the professional accomplishments of our colleagues.


Spring Orientation – Thursday Evening January 15. You have already received an email from our president Marilyn Sarich about this, but in the spring there will be only one mandatory orientation meeting on Thursday evening, January 15th. The union meeting will be at 5:00 in b159 and we will serve pizza and drinks before the meeting. Details regarding your Division’s times and rooms will be sent by your deans or directors.  It would be wonderful if these meetings were not mandatory!

Elect a Union Secretary:   Please consider getting involved in your union. The position of Secretary is open and we will be holding an election during Spring Orientation session. It is a paid position, and union dues are reimbursed. A full job description is attached to this email. But more importantly, it’s a chance to be involved and make a difference here at CLC. There is work involved, but a lot of benefits as well. On a lighter note: As Homer Simpson said when he ran for union president, “This is a chance to get a fair shake for the working man, and make life long connections to the world of organized crime…” (Last Exit to Springfield) Contact Marilyn Sarich or myself if you are interested.

CLC-AFO Scholarship: CLC-AFO scholarship will be offered this spring semester and is open to the spouse, partner, or child of a CLC-AFO faculty member. The amount is $500. Deadline for applications is March 1, 2015, and a committee will decide the recipient. Further information is available through the Financial Aid Department or in President Marilyn’s PowerPoint presentation posted on our union webpage.

Retirement and Return to Work:   CLC-AFO has been working with administration to come to some reasonable solution to this problem. Other Community Colleges have taken a rather draconian approach and have decided not to re-hire retired adjuncts. Since our last newsletter the Illinois Legislature has passed SB2887 which makes an exception to re-hire people whose annuity is less than $10,000 per year. No decision has been made as yet but we are continually monitoring this.

But if you are not re-hired after retiring under SURS please know that this is no reflection on your work or performance at CLC.

Consider Joining CLC-AFO: One can join the union in their third consecutive semester (not counting summers) if you have taught at least 3 credit hours each of those semesters. You must sign a membership card to join; it’s not automatic like it is in some educational institutions. If you are eligible and would like a voice in bargaining, voting, etc., please consider joining.

  • Reminder: If you are fair-share you do pay the same dues as a full voting privilege member, you might want to consider joining.
  • Contact any of the officers listed below and they will be happy to help you and answer questions.

Weingarten Rights.  We put this in every CLC-AFO Newsletter – but this is very important.  If you are ever called before a supervisor, a Dean, an Associate Dean, a Director, etc., and you think that the meeting could result in a disciplinary action, you have the right to have a union representative with you.  If you know this could happen contact us immediately and we will accompany you to the meeting.  If during a meeting you see that there could be disciplinary action taken, say words to the effect, “If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined, terminated or affect my working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative be present at the meeting.  Without representation, I choose not to answer any questions.”  Contact any officer listed below as soon as possible.

Some of the wording of this section borrowed from the Harper College Adjunct Association newsletter

Have a Great Semester Ending and a Happy Holiday:

Remember we are here for you. Should you ever feel you need union representation or have questions please feel free to contact any of the officers listed below. Also remember our webpage is a valuable source of information. It’s at

If you do not want to receive these emails please just delete them. We do not have an “unsubscribe” function at CLC, and our only way to communicate efficiently is through an “all adjunct distribution” list.


Brian Smith (Treasurer and Editor of the Newsletter)


Marilyn Sarich – President

John Carobine – Vice-President

Joan Coleman-Almond- Acting Secretary