Quantcast
Published On: Thu, Jan 17th, 2013

Four colleges to cut faculty hours to Part-time status, blames Obamacare

Four public colleges and universities:  Florida’s Palm Beach State College, Pennsylvania’s Community College of Allegheny County, Ohio’s Youngstown State University, and New Jersey’s Kean University, are all planning to move adjunct and “contingent” faculty members to part-time status in order to avoid an Obamacare provision requiring businesses with 50 or more full-time employees to provide health coverage for at least 95 percent of their workers.

The Global Dispatch stretched logo 300x150Gwen Bradley, a senior program officer for the American Association of University Professors, said the AAUP’s National Committee on contingent faculty was “deeply concerned” by the emerging trend.

“Adjuncts are very precarious anyway,” said Bradley. “They usually have very low wages, and are often already below the thresholds for health care. But for those people who have it, being cut down to lose it is very devastating.”

Only contingent faculty—as opposed to full-time, tenure-track faculty—would be affected by the change in policy. Since the Affordable Care Act requires that employers provide health care to any employee who works 30 hours per week or more, universities like Palm Beach State College have opted to cap the time that contingent faculty are allowed to work at just below the 30-hour benchmark.

“It’s about having their course load reduced so they’re teaching less and having less paid for their salaries,” said Craig Smith, the director of the American Federation of Teacher’s higher education division. For many contingent faculty members, “it’s not like they were receiving health care in the first place.”

Teachers’ associations like AAUP and AFT are bracing for the shift. Next week, AFT will host a webinar for its members addressing “the implications of the Affordable Care Act for contingent faculty.” In the meantime, both organizations are hoping the federal government will require universities to count time spent outside the classroom as part of adjunct faculty’s work hours.

Bradley applauded a recent IRS ruling which she said determined “that failing to take into account grading and prep is not reasonable” when it comes to calculating employee hours. Smith said that AFT had been “making comments to the Treasury Department and encouraging them to write the regulations in such a way that for part-time faculty, the hours they work are counted correctly.”

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

Displaying 103 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. […] in response to the employer mandate of Obamacare, other colleges have announced plans to switch some of their employees from full time to part time, including Florida’s Palm […]

  2. […] in response to the employer mandate of Obamacare, other colleges have announced plans to switch some of their employees from full time to part time, including Florida’s […]

  3. […] in response to the employer mandate of Obamacare, other colleges haveannounced plans to switch some of their employees from full time to part time, including Florida’s Palm […]

  4. […] in response to the employer mandate of Obamacare, other colleges have announced plans to switch some of their employees from full time to part time, including Florida’s […]

  5. […] in response to the employer mandate of Obamacare, other colleges have announced plans to switch some of their employees from full time to part time, including Florida’s Palm […]

  6. […] in response to the employer mandate of Obamacare, other colleges have announced plans to switch some of their employees from full time to part time, including Florida’s Palm […]

  7. […] in response to the employer mandate of Obamacare, other colleges have announced plans to switch some of their employees from full time to part time, including Florida’s […]

  8. […] in response to the employer mandate of Obamacare, other colleges have announced plans to switch some of their employees from full time to part time, including Florida’s Palm […]

  9. […] in response to the employer mandate of Obamacare, other colleges have announced plans to switch some of their employees from full time to part time, including Florida’s […]

  10. […] in response to the employer mandate of Obamacare, other colleges have announced plans to switch some of their employees from full time to part time, including Florida’s Palm […]

  11. […] in response to the employer mandate of Obamacare, other colleges haveannounced plans to switch some of their employees from full time to part time, including Florida’s Palm […]

  12. […] in response to the employer mandate of Obamacare, other colleges haveannounced plans to switch some of their employees from full time to part time, including Florida’s Palm […]

  13. […] in response to the employer mandate of Obama-care, other colleges have announced plans to switch some of their employees from full time to part time, including Florida’s Palm […]

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>