SUNY Oneonta is giving its adjunct professors a raise, to a starting salary of $3,000 per course. Adjuncts nationwide work under short-term contracts and make notoriously low salaries. Oneonta’s move comes after its adjuncts petitioned the administration earlier this year.
Before today, Oneonta adjuncts were close to the bottom in terms of salary, compared to area colleges. A WSKG analysis last summer found their $2,500 per-course minimum below that at community colleges like SUNY Broome and Tompkins Cortland. Now, they fare much better. The new salary, which starts next fall for both new and current adjuncts, beats nearby SUNY Cortland’s by a few hundred.
Oneonta adjuncts had petitioned for a bigger raise, to $3,500 per course. Nationally, the activist group Adjunct Action advocates a $5,000 minimum. In practice, though, that’s been hard to reach. Adjuncts are part of the SUNY professors’ union, but their contract doesn’t set a minimum salary. Union representatives say that’s been a non-starter in negotiations with the state.