Tuesday, February 18, 2014

NJ #adjunct union chapters react to revised #ACA regs

When the revised IRSregulations came out last week on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) there was cause for reserved celebration at many County College adjunct local union chapters in New Jersey. Several of us have been fighting since last February to maintain our teaching loads while the Colleges have been trying to cut our courses in order to cover themselves on hours. 

Our leadership has been working very hard to maintain our income levels while preserving our dignity. Surveys among adjuncts in several County Colleges in NJ show that if we have to make a choice between healthcare access or maintaining our income level the income wins out with a 65% majority. We all agree that this is a horrible decision that we are forced to make, but that is they way it is in real life.
With the IRS now recognizing now that one for the reasonable methods may be a ratio of 1 1/4 hours outside of call for every hour in class (as long as we are not required to hold office hours) this gives us the opportunity to push for the 12 credit load. That would come to 27 hours based on this ratio. To those critics that claim we are demeaning ourselves and underestimating the work we actually do, I say 'you are correct'.

However, given the choices we have it appears that most of our members want to be able to eat, have a place to live, and be able to buy gas for their car. Many of our members have health insurance through Medicare, a retirement system, or their spouse, making the need for additional coverage redundant.Perhaps ACA should provide for exemptions for those of us who do not require the coverage.

We do not know yet how the revised regulations will play out with the colleges, but we will be using this in negotiations to try to convince the schools. I will keep you all informed.

Bill Lipkin

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