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An Unsuccessful Faculty Protest for Better Pay
by Jeffrey Ross

In the burning Cleveland sun today, 273 adjunct (part-time) faculty marched back and forth between the parking lot and administration building at Eastern Cleveland Community College. They were on the third day of an organized strike. Each wore a black t-shirt with a skull and crossbones image emblazoned on the front and back.  Professor Richard Hose, the organizer of the protest., wore a stylish three-cornered black and silver pirate hat and carried a toy parrot on his shoulder.  Most of the dissidents carried signs— “Slavery ended in 1863 "; “Give me Bennies or I’ll be Dead”; “We’re doing this for the students”; “#PiratesforPay”; “Stop the cultural salary appropriation!”
Some motorists leaving the parking lot honked and waved in support of the movement. Many gave the marchers the middle finger and shouted angrily about how the marchers were interfering with traffic flow in and out of the college. Four big, burly alleged Marxist students had marched with the professors on the first day, but only tired and sagging part timers remained on this this third and pivotal day of the event.
According to Hose, in an interview granted earlier in the week, the adjuncts had simply endured enough.  Decades of lousy salaries and stringent administrative puffery had finally called them to action. Adjunct faculty were paid $650 a credit hour for teaching at ECCC--$1950 for a three-credit hour course that lasted from mid-August to early December.
The protest ended when the Chief of Campus Police, Lt. General First-Class Terry O’Neal, arrived on his golf cart. He addressed the long sweaty line using his bull horn.
“Protestors! You are hereby ordered to disperse pursuant to ECCC Policy 1006A- Unlawful Assembly!  I will give you 30 minutes to get out of here, or our officers will begin making arrests.”
Groans of disbelief erupted from the passionate but discouraged academics. They had come so far!
“Come on, Terry—the admin knows we are doing this. They were supportive of the idea”, said the disbelieving Chief of Pirates.
“Aww, Dick, I know, and I don’t want to arrest you. But here’s the thing. Enough students dropped your classes that every class taught by adjuncts was cancelled because of low enrollment. So, you have all been terminated—and now you are trespassing.”
Beaten, and unable to afford much jail time, the #PiratesforPay organization morosely found their way out of the parking lot in their early 90’s era automobiles and headed down to the Cleveland unemployment office. A moral victory…. Justice was served!