Image via John Walker/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The first National Adjunct Walkout Day is less than a month away on February 25, prompting adjuncts across the country to determine whether they’ll be allowed to take part in the protest.

An idea proposed in October by an adjunct professor of writing at San Jose State University – who has remained anonymous to this day – in an effort to highlight concerns about job security, fair wages and better working conditions, National Adjunct Walkout Day is expected to bring attention to the plight of adjuncts in a showing of solidarity, the only problem is that many adjuncts will be prohibited from participating due to no-strike clauses in contracts or state laws.

Some unions have begun advising members not to join the National Adjunct Walkout Day movement because their states prohibit public employees from striking. Should an adjunct choose not to obey the rules of their state, they could be slapped with hefty fines. In New York, for example, there’s Taylor Law.

“While I support our adjunct brothers and sisters in their quest for a living wage and better working conditions, we cannot support, encourage, or condone this particular action,” United University Professions President Fred Kowal wrote in an email to UUP members. “I am working with staff of the American Federation of Teachers to come up with alternative actions that will be meant to promote and pursue the goals we have established in UUP: bringing adjuncts into full-time status with job security and a living income.”

National Mobilization for Equity, on the other hand, is advocating for National Adjunct Action Week from Feb. 23-27. They’re endorsing the National Adjunct Walkout day scheduled for February 25, with the provision that “NME does not support, encourage or condone anyone violating state laws, e.g., the so-called Taylor Law in New York State.”

Some schools are already preparing for National Walkout Day. Lt. John Weinstein, the commander of Northern Virginia Community College Public Safety District 3, even published an article in Campus Safety Magazine on the “13 Steps Your Campus Should Take to Prepare for National Adjunct Faculty Walkout Day.” Weinstein suggests that campus security:

  • Make itself aware of the state and college freedom of speech policies and procedures
  • Plan for the event by requesting intelligence from its state fusion center
  • Train its department how to responsibly respond to civil disturbances
  • Get the support needed from local agencies
  • Review its organization’s use of force policies and procedures
  • Tell officers that they can be photographed and recorded
  • Know all laws, college policies and other related codes pertaining to disorderly conduct
  • Agree on one place where detainees will be held and where they’ll be transported
  • Figure out who will speak on the police department’s behalf
  • Ensure any potential traffic control issues are prepared for ahead of time
  • Notify the campus community of what’s going to happen
  • Understand parking and ticketing policies
  • Give officers flex-cuffs so issued cuffs aren’t taken away when detainees are put behind bars