As many of you know, the Affordable Care Act has provisions in it that could directly or indirectly impact adjunct faculty at CLC and elsewhere. The CLC-AFO, along with the IFT-AFT, is on top of this and is watching this situation. We feel right now there are too many variables that could impact us and we are diligently trying to receive information so we can make an informed stand. What precipitated this message now is that some adjunct faculty from our sister colleges are rallying in Lombard this Friday (3/8/13) to voice their concerns to community college administrators over the possible impact of this act on their teaching load.
What is the issue? We recommend that you visit the following site to gain a little background information: http://www.aft.org/newspubs/news/2013/012812adjuncts.cfm
In summary: The concern is that college administrators may cut the number of classes an adjunct can teach so that they will not have to pay health insurance benefits under the ACA. Starting in 2014 an employer must provide health care to employees who work 30 hours or more on average. The question becomes how one equates credit hours taught by an adjunct faculty toward that 30 hours. On January 2nd a ruling was produced from the federal government that allowed the employer (not the employee) to determine a “reasonable method” for crediting work service toward that 30 hours, and for adjunct faculty the ruling said that it is not reasonable to just count class time but must also include preparation time. What this could mean is that colleges will offer less hours to adjuncts so that adjuncts do not meet the 30 hour threshold.
Our position: The CLC-AFO’s current understanding is that:
- With the 10 credit hour cap we will not reach the 30 hour threshold, even with a generous credit for prep time. Our sister colleges are able to offer higher than 10 hours and the impact may be greater for them.
- Because the “reasonable method” for calculating hours is left to the employer it is not in CLC’s interest to be generous in calculating prep time.
- When that time of calculation gets near, the CLC-AFO will be informed, ready, and proactive to defend our class offerings and secure this benefit for those who qualify.
You may want to visit the webpages of our sister community colleges to see their take on this issue.
- Harper College Adjuncts: http://harperadjuncts.org/
- Oakton Community College Adjuncts: http://occfa.wordpress.com/
- College of Dupage Adjuncts: http://codaa.wordpress.com/
Unlike the Presidents of Harper and Oakton, CLC’s top administrators have not yet taken a position on the issue. The last we heard is that they are waiting for more information from the federal government and the IRS. The IRS is holding a public hearing in Washington on April 23 to provide more guidance to colleges.