Monday, March 27

Adjunct professors struggle with low wages, no health benefits

This story was published in partnership with the 19th, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting on gender, politics and policy.

Nicole Braun has earned too little as a working single mom to save for retirement. At times, she’s used government assistance to get enough food to eat and a place to live. She’s cleaned houses and walked dogs to earn extra cash, and she’s never had a job that provided health insurance.

Most people who know the 54-year-old Chicagoan don’t suspect she’s struggling this much financially, Braun said. After all, she has two master’s degrees and an occupation that many assume makes her middle-class.

She’s a part-time professor.

“A lot of adjuncts like myself have a whopping student loan debt, and not only are we making poverty wages, we have no health benefits typically,” said Braun, who teaches sociology at one community college and three universities. “We have no retirement plan. We work multiple jobs, and we’re completely disposable.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *