Given voter demographics (in this case the vote of college professors), the irony here is too sweet to not at least momentarily savor -- even if Obamacare is a nightmare for all of us.
Effective Dec. 31, Community College of Allegheny County will cut course loads and hours for some 200 adjunct faculty members and 200 additional employees to avoid paying $6 million in Affordable Care Act-related fees in January 2014.
College President Alex Johnson announced the plan in an e-mail to faculty and staff members last week. “As you probably know, the Affordable Care Act has redefined full-time employees as those working 30 hours or more per week,” Johnson wrote. “As a result, the college must adjust hours of some temporary part-time employees and adjuncts to comply with the new legislation’s conception of part-time employment.”
The college is capping adjuncts’ work load at 10 credits per semester, formerly 12. Temporary part-time employees will be limited to 25 hours per week (permanent part-time employees, already eligible for coverage under the college’s health care plan, remain unaffected).
For adjunct faculty, the blow is twofold. It quashes hopes of employer-assisted health insurance while cutting income for those who previously taught a larger course load.
Adjunct English professor Clint Benjamin, who has been teaching at the college for six years, pays out-of-pocket for catastrophic health care coverage only and had vague hopes of improved insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Not only is he now ineligible for such help, but the course load reduction will translate to up to $600 less in pay each month.