The AAUP supports the National Unemployment Compensation Initiative, designed to help eligible contingent faculty obtain unemployment compensation between academic terms. Many part-time and other term faculty don't check to see whether they are eligible, despite having no guarantee of a job the next term. Others are denied on grounds of having reasonable assurance of re-employment, a phrase in federal law whose invocation by postsecondary employers has been challenged, most successfully in California and Washington, by arguing that employment which depends on variables like enrollment, funding, and administrative prerogative cannot constitute reasonable assurance.
The initiative offers information on applying, and will collect statistics on patterns of activity around unemployment claims, with the ultimate goal of lobbying to change the problematic "reasonable assurance of re-employment" clause.
See also Access to Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Contingent Faculty: A Manual for Applicants and a Strategy to Gain Full Rights to Benefits, and as a free download on the website of the Chicago Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor.