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Adjuncts to move to hourly pay

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Alondra Campos
Staff Writer

The University’s roughly 700 adjunct faculty – who teach more than 60 percent of the classes here – will need to fill out time cards starting in January.

This change is despite the fact that a proposed state law calling for a change and a raise to adjunct pay at private universities was vetoed last month by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

AB 1466 would have meant a substantial pay increase for adjuncts here – from roughly $4,000 to more than $7,000 per class – based on a formula that called for an hourly pay rate of at least double the state minimum wage. It also called for compensating adjuncts for three hours of pay for every one hour in class.

Adjunct faculty here are currently paid on a per-class basis.

“ULV is changing how adjunct faculty are being paid because we must be compliant with California labor law,” said Mia Basic, chief human resources officer. “Our intent with this proposal is not to have anyone paid less (than they are currently). We hope adjuncts will be fairly compensated for their work inside and outside of the classroom.”

While details of the change have yet to be finalized, the University will calculate hourly work to include in-class teaching time as well as out of class prep time. But the hourly pay rate will be lower than designated in AB 1466.

Adjunct faculty, department chairs and deans will receive training on how manage the electronic time card system in December, Basic said, adding that the adjuncts will be paid for their training time.

Provost Jonathan Reed presented the time card system to the University Adjunct Council on Nov. 5.

Charles Stadtlander, co-chair of the Adjunct Council said AB 1466 shined a light on the fact that adjuncts across the state are not fairly compensated for all the hours that go into teaching college classes.

“Universities balance their budgets on the backs of adjuncts and ULV is no different,” Stadtlander said. “If adjuncts were being paid fairly, AB 1466 would not be necessary.”

Stadtlander added that there have been several lawsuits against universities (where) adjuncts aren’t even earning minimum wage.”

Stadtlander said that although he commends the University for efforts to address this issue, there are still many questions to be answered regarding the implications of the change to hourly pay.

“If this time-card system is supposed to be implemented on Jan. 1, we are way behind schedule,” he said.

In addition to the deadline concern, Stadtlander said adjunct faculty are also concerned about a potential cap on weekly hours adjuncts will be permitted to work.

One concern raised by many adjuncts, is that administration might allow individual adjuncts to teach no more than two classes per semester. Many adjuncts here regularly teach three or four classes per semester.
Christine Rodriguez, adjunct professor of sociology, who regularly teaches more expressed her concerns at the Faculty Senate meeting Monday.

“I don’t think enough thought for the students and adjunct faculty has been put into this,” she said.

Reed said that the University has not determined whether such limits will be imposed or what the implications will be on such things as medical benefits for adjuncts. Under the Affordable Care Act, those working 30 hours or more are eligible for employer medical benefits.

“At this point we are seeing a lot of speculation, and other than knowing we need to go to time cards, we have not finalized our policy yet,” Reed said.

Stadtlander said the Adjunct Council is collaborating with the Faculty Compensation Committee for an alternative proposal to that of the University’s time-card system.

“We understand that if you’re going to complain and criticize, you must also provide some other form of solution to the problem,” Stadtlander said.

Alondra Campos can be reached at alondra.campos@laverne.edu.

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