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Letter to the editor: CCV should pay its workers more

When I retired from a long and satisfying career as a public school teacher, I was excited to return to teaching part-time at the Community College of Vermont in Winooski. Student diversity, wonderful colleagues and a lovely work environment make CCV a positive place to teach, and the paycheck supplements my retirement income.
However, instructors who have made a long-term commitment to this important educational institution and who depend on that CCV paycheck for their livelihood are struggling.
These folks have the same educational background and skills as their colleagues at other Vermont State Colleges, yet their rate of pay is considerably lower. A new faculty like me receives this same rate of pay as an instructor who has been at CCV for decades. To make matters more difficult, CCV faculty are not guaranteed assignments from one semester to the next, which adds ongoing job insecurity to their financial stress.
The experienced faculty at the heart of our community college system deserve better.
This is a multifaceted issue. Tuition needs to be kept affordable for the full spectrum of Vermonters. Our state does not adequately fund higher education, and support at the federal level is lacking. These issues certainly need to be addressed, yet we also need to do more to apply existing resources equitably.
CCV faculty members educate 6,000 Vermont-based students each semester. As I pass their classrooms on the way to my own, I catch glimpses of teachers engaged with their students, and their dedication is clear. These folks provide Vermont youth with the path to a better future. They deserve more from us.
Alice Leeds
Bristol

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