September Newsletter 2015

Download as a PDF

September 2015 CLC-AFO Newsletter

facebook: CLC-AFO


Welcome.   On behalf of the CLC-AFO, the adjunct union, I welcome you back if you are a returning faculty, and welcome you if you are new to CLC.   Teaching as an adjunct professor at CLC (or anywhere) can be a very alienating experience. The CLC-AFO Adjunct Newsletter is one of the ways that we adjuncts can communicate and connect with each other. The Adjunct Newsletter comes out regularly and we hope that you will use it to be informed about issues that impact adjunct faculty. Also visit our webpage and like us on facebook. We post vital information on our CLC-AFO webpage and in that format we can be a little more free to discuss ideas, as we “own” the webpage and facebook page.


Facebook page: CLC-AFO, or College of Lake County Adjunct Faculty Organization.


If you have information you would like to see in the newsletter regarding being an adjunct please feel free to send me information for the newsletter Brian Smith

A New Contract. This summer we completed negotiations and ratified our fourth collective bargaining agreement (contract). Please take time to familiarize yourself with the new contract. Our thanks to the negotiating team, Marilyn Sarich, John Carobine, Charles Urban, Brian Smith, Matt LaPierre (Lake County Federation of Teachers), and our two advisors and observers Andrew Sagartz and Byron Wigodner (both of the Business and Social Science Division). Our many thinks to these people for their hours of hard work and effort on our behalf.


A copy of the new contract plus the PowerPoint presentation at the ratification meeting are posted on our website


Publications and Presentations:  The CLC Adjunct Newsletter tries to showcase some of the accomplishments and activities of fellow adjuncts.

This month we recognize:

Penny Steffen (English Department)

Penny won the 2015 Outstanding Part-Time Faculty of the Year Award. Penny has been featured in the CLC-AFO Newsletter last year for her accomplishments as a published author under her pen name Sasha Dawn. Receiving this award recognizes her for that as well as for her excellence as a teacher.

Beth Schaefer (English Department).

Beth has published a wonderful and satirical novel called The Nutty Years of the Jon Stewart Presidency in a Nutshell.   The book has received outstanding critical reviews and Beth has been interviewed recently on Chicago radio about the book. I had the joy of reading the book this summer and it is a wonderful commentary on the current milieu in the world.

Congratulations Penny and Beth on these accomplishments.

If you have completed an advanced degree, published a book or paper, presented a paper at a professional conference, etc. let me know and we 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.

A Plea for Help – Union Officers Marilyn Sarich has announced that she will not run again as our president, and this is very, very sad news for us; albeit good news for Marilyn as she will get a much deserved rest. For those who have worked with her we know that she has done so much for us as a leader and has put in hours of her time to selflessly advocate for the rights of adjunct faculty. She is an intelligent, compassionate, powerful, and tireless advocate and she will be missed. She is the only officer to have been with CLC-AFO since the beginning and organizing phase of the union.


But that leaves us with a tremendous leadership hole. In the spring we will be electing a new President and Secretary of CLC-AFO.    Please look deeply into yourself and ask if you might be willing to serve as an officer of the union.   Many of us have been around long enough to remember CLC adjuncts before CLC-AFO. Adjuncts went years without pay raises, no personal leaves, no security, no protection, no clearly defined rights. To be blunt, without leadership this union fails, and the cost will be great.


We have strong leadership in our ranks, please consider giving back and running for a leadership position in the spring.


Union Leadership Institute


The Illinois Federation of Teachers offers classes and workshops to help train union leadership called ULI – Union Leadership Institute.  These classes are offered November 7 – 8, February 6 – 7, and April 23 -24 in Westmont, IL. CLC-AFO will be glad to send and pay expenses for a limited number of people who would benefit from this training. One must attend all three sessions as they build on each other. Many of us have gone and found them very beneficial. For more information visit the IFT website below and/or contact any of the officers listed at the bottom of the Newsletter. Deadline for application is October 9, 2015. Topics are

  • Boot Camp for Union Leadership.
  • Effective Grievance Administration.
  • Introduction to Collective Bargaining.
  • Worksite Leadership.

CLC-AFO Scholarship;

As you may know CLC-AFO has a $500 scholarship available to all CLC-AFO members, family, and domestic partners. The application for the scholarship is in the spring semester to be used in the fall semester. Details of the scholarship and instructions on how to apply are available through the Financial Aid Office at CLC.


CLC-AFO Budget:

CLC-AFO works on a yearly budget. This budget is approved and guides the officers in spending the money. Roughly $10 of your dues comes back to CLC-AFO, and we use it to send out mailers, meet negotiations expenses, pay officer stipends, dues etc. If you are interested in seeing the budget and past budgets, visit our website and follow the links to the budget. Any questions may be directed to me, Brian Smith as I am the Treasurer for CLC-AFO.


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.
  • Remember you pay the same dues whether you are a member or a fair-share. Join us so you can have a voice, a vote on the contract, and get the benefits of being a member of CLC-AFO. There is strength in numbers!

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

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


Brian Smith (Treasurer and Editor of the Newsletter)


Marilyn Sarich – President

John Carobine – Vice-President

Charles Urban – Secretary