Adjunct Faculty Need Fair Treatment in Implementation of the New Federal Healthcare Law
When the new healthcare law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, takes effect in 2014, large employers will be required to provide healthcare benefits to employees who work over 30 hours a week.
Concerns are already being raised that unscrupulous employers will simply reduce the hours of employees to get around this law—delivering a double-whammy to workers in the form of reduced pay and denied healthcare coverage.
Exactly how part-time contingent faculty members (or adjuncts, as they are sometimes called), who make up almost half of faculty in this country, will fare under the new law is not clear since these faculty are usually paid not by the hour but by the course.
Will unscrupulous administrators reduce their courses (and their pay) to get around the law? Will they define the number of hours faculty work outside of class in ways that keep them below the 30 hour threshold for coverage?
A number of organizations who represent college faculty have raised these concerns with the IRS, the Department of Education, and other government agencies.
For organization statements, testimony, and further information on the issue, see the following:
- New Faculty Majority
- American Federation of Teachers
- National Education Association: pp. 2-5 or visit website.
- American Association of University Professors
- United Steel Workers
- SEIU Local 500