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Adjunct faculty pay structure is still unclear

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Alondra Campos 
Staff Writer

University of La Verne adjunct professors will not move to a time card system in January, as officials had announced last month.

Instead the University will pay adjuncts according to the current per-class structure through January, while faculty and administration take more time to work out a new pay structure for the more than 700 part-time faculty members who teach more than 60 percent of the classes across the University.

The planned change from per-class to hourly was to make the University’s adjunct pay structure compliant with California labor law, Chief Human Resources Officer Mia Basic told the Campus Times last month.

Adjuncts unhappy with the announced change brought their concerns to a special Faculty Senate meeting Nov. 25. 

Adjunct Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Christine Rodriquez said at the Nov. 25 meeting that she and other adjuncts, who had committed to teach January term classes, would not be teaching those classes because of confusion about the planned new pay structure. 

Several hours after the Nov. 25 Senate meeting ended, the Provost’s decision to put the pay structure change on hold through January was announced via email.

The issue was discussed again at Monday’s Faculty Senate meeting, where Adjunct Council vice chairman Norton “Bruce” Walton presented an alternative to the hourly time-card system, which had been worked on by the Adjunct Council and the Faculty Compensation Committee. 

Under the proposal, “all adjuncts (would) complete a requirement of specific hours and receive a guaranteed base rate pay for those hours,” Walton told senators and administrators at the Monday meeting. “This base pay will be different for each adjunct professor depending on their education and experience levels.”

If adjunct professors go over the number of hours for the base pay, there would be a discretionary amount for the specific course and professor.

“Our plan is budget-friendly, legal, and a solid foundation for our adjuncts,” said Charlie Sadtlander, co-chair of the Adjunct Council. “Most of all, our adjuncts are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve under our new plan. All we’re asking is to not lose money and hope that administration engages with our plan.”

Provost Jonathan Reed told presenters that while he appreciated the work of the Adjunct Council and Faculty Compensation committee, he is concerned with the legality of the plan presented Monday. 

“I think the spirit of the alternative plan is to make the process of being fairly paid easy for adjuncts, and I think it’s a great idea,” Reed said during a phone interview Tuesday. “However, we are researching and deeply analyzing the ‘guaranteed’ base rate that was mentioned in the Faculty Senate meeting. We need to make sure adjuncts are hourly employees and not deviate from that.

“As of now a solid plan for the spring semester and term has not been decided on, but after researching the alternative proposal and going over it with faculty we hope to find the right solution by the middle of December,” Reed added. 

The Adjunct Council, Faculty Compensation Committee, General Counsel and other administrators will meet again today discuss the matter of adjunct pay. 

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

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