Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Outcome: one NYS adjunct's UI claim this summer

Yesterday, four weeks' payment that had been held up pending an investigation into the extent to which my Fall PT contract constituted "reasonable assurance of future employment," in the Labor Law's phrase, were direct-deposited in my account. Three weeks' payment had been made in July before the investigation; all except one, a week during which I worked a day on a freelance job, were for $274, the amount determined based on my highest previous year's quarter's income, plus a $25 Federal supplement recently passed. As indicated in earlier posts, the NYS Department of Labor's online claim form asks specific questions of educators, giving us ample opportunity to explain our trepidation at the promise of Fall courses (in my case, my assigned Spring courses were cancelled, and although I received others later, that was enough to make me wonder). Now, as of this week, all three of my Fall courses are full, according to our school's online registration system, so I won't claim any more weeks. But receiving this assistance for seven of this summer's weeks -- almost exactly equal to a one-week job I had in June grading AP essays for ETS, interestingly enough --made this summer exponentially more tolerable for me than last, psychologically as well as financially. Meanwhile, the legislation for guaranteeing adjunct UI that was introduced earlier this summer -- corresponding bills S4123a and A613a -- haven't made it the schedule for voting on this session that just opened either, yet, though I'm told that they might come up at any time. In my initial gratitude at my case's resolution I wondered about the need for such legislation, but without the details of how and why the investigation into my case was resolved, I don't know whether it was a single-case decision or a precedent. Either way, it's no reason NOT to continue pressing for passage of these bills, which would serve as notice to schools of the true full cost of employing teachers at length on short-term contracts as well as to adjuncts without summer work that they do have an alternative to starving, borrowing, or dipping into savings while waiting for their poverty-level jobs to start.

I'd be interested in hearing from any others in NYS or other states who might have filed this summer, with either similar or less favorable outcomes.


  1. I wanted to file. I taught a summer class at Kingsborough college. The pay checks were spread out until around August 28 although the class ended around August 5.
    I suppose I could have claimed the week in between, since classes started again Sept 9. I know you can't be working or getting paid to collect.
    Hmm I will have to try next summer. We will not be paid again until October. So depressing.

  2. Next time, you might file right away, to claim that week. True that you can't claim for a week when income actually comes in; and it's hard to pay for a week that's long in the past, even if you had no income then. Also, the first week after you file is called a "waiting week," while your claim is being evaluated I guess, and nothing's paid for it. This summer I didn't file until the end of June, because I had a one-week job earlier in the month, even though my regular semester had ended 5/31. When I tried to claim the empty week after that and before my one-week job started as my "waiting week," that request was denied.

  3. PS: Not only can't you claim for a week when income actually comes in, even if you're not working, but you can't claim for a week when you're working, even if no income actually comes in then, is my understanding.

  4. I actually just had to go through this last summer and face it again this coming summer. As the people in PA told me, telling me I am "likely" to have a job is still not reasonable assurance. Unless you have a signed contract PROMISING you employment, you have no assurance. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.


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