Heartening as it is to hear about pay increases for civil servants (About 23,000 civil servants to get pay rise of between 5% and 14% from August, June 5) and Ministry of Education (MOE) teachers (Teachers to get pay increase of between 5% and 10% from Oct 1, Aug 16), I hope MOE does not forget about adjunct lecturers in polytechnics.
The fee per face-to-face teaching hour for adjunct lecturers has not been adjusted for at least the past 10 years.
On top of external pressures such as rising inflation, expectations for adjunct lecturers have also risen over the years, such that face-to-face teaching comprises only at most 30 per cent of the workload, while many more hours are spent on lesson and material preparation, administrative work, communication with students, and attending training courses and meetings - all of which are unpaid.
Many adjunct lecturers are parents or have dependants, who choose to teach part-time in the medium to long term to balance their family responsibilities. They teach and contribute with dedication and effort, and are an essential part of polytechnic staff. But they seem to have been left out in pay adjustment over the years.
With the trend now towards workplace flexibility, hybrid teaching and work-life balance, the lines between full-time, part-time and adjunct staff will become even more blurred. Adjunct lecturers' fees and employment benefits should be reviewed in tandem with those of other MOE teaching staff.
Boey Shee Lye