Re: “Democrats and unions ignore the plight of nontenured faculty” [April 1, Opinion]:

I shared Jack Longmate’s experience for 19 years teaching English as a Second Language in the community-college system. The huge irony of the system is that tenured people insist on limiting part-time instructors’ hours, making it even more difficult to earn a living wage. That forces nontenured people to work at two or more colleges, resulting in long days and miserable conditions. It’s an idiotic system at best, and the unions refuse to do anything about it, being entirely beholden to the tenured minority.

Tenure was done away with in the Vancouver, B.C., college system a number of years ago. It uses a beefed up hire-in process at the front end with a year-and-a-half probation. Once past that, the new hire is granted seniority based on hire-in date. Pay was leveled. Classes are bid by seniority within specialty. It works. It’s fair.

Tenure is an absurdity, especially in the community-college system. These aren’t research institutions. Basics are being taught. The rocket science comes later. The whole thing needs to be rethought.

Walter Marquardt, Seattle