Reasonable Teaching

Under the new law, which takes effect in January 2014, employees who work at least a 30-hour work week must receive health benefits from their employers. Some colleges are concerned about how to tally up the hours adjuncts spend on the job to determine if they have reached that full-time status. Most adjuncts don’t receive health benefits, and the legislation appeared to pave the way for them to finally get access.

IRS Says Colleges Must Be ‘Reasonable’ When Calculating Adjuncts’ Work Hours,” Audrey Williams June

One of the most insidious loopholes in labor law is the idea of the part-time and or contract worker. Through that tiny little crack administrators have driven the entire field of higher education teaching right into the ground. As long as you are below 30 hours in a technical sense (never mind the actual hours you work), you can be treated as the proverbial cog in the machine: no benefits or job security or health care or whatever.

This is why, at bottom, we’ve gone from 70% full-time faculty to 70% part-time in the last thirty years or so. Administrators didn’t want to pay benefits; since part-time and contract workers are temporary– “seasonal”?– they don’t need to be paid as much as full-time permanent employees. What’s the best way to save money, then? Make everyone temporary. It’d be great if the ACA was the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Post Navigation