Skip to comments.Universities Bludgeon Adjuncts With Obamacare Loophole [reduces their work hours to less than 30]
Posted on 01/22/2013 2:11:08 PM PST by grundle
When the Affordable Care Act passed in early 2010, many in academiafaculty and students alikecheered on. But now that its provisions are going into effect, some of these same people are learning firsthand that Obamacare has some nasty side effects.
A new piece in the Wall Street Journal reports that many colleges are cutting back on the number of hours worked by adjunct professors, in order to avoid new requirements that they provide healthcare to anyone working over 30 hours per week. This is terrible news for a lot of people; 70 percent of professors work as adjuncts and many will now have to cope with a major pay cut just as requirements that they buy their own health insurance go into effect:
In Ohio, instructor Robert Balla faces a new cap on the number of hours he can teach at Stark State College. In a Dec. 6 letter, the North Canton school told him that in order to avoid penalties under the Affordable Care Act employees with part-time or adjunct status will not be assigned more than an average of 29 hours per week.
Mr. Balla, a 41-year-old father of two, had taught seven English composition classes last semester, split between Stark State and two other area schools. This semester, his course load at Stark State is down to one instead of two as a result of the schools new limit on hours, cutting his salary by about a total of $2,000.
Stark States move came as a blow to Mr. Balla, who said he earns about $40,000 a year and cannot afford health insurance.
I think it goes against the spirit of the [health-care] law, Mr. Balla said. In education, were working for the public good, we are public employees at a public institution; we should be the first ones to uphold the law, to set the example.
This isnt the first time weve seen serious unintended consequences from Obamacare, and its unlikely to be the last. Its already become painfully obvious that the laws creators failed to think through its full implications.
But beyond alerting us to one of the many problems that implementing Obamacare will cause, this news provides a depressing look at the underbelly of the academy. Universities are citadels of blue model thinking and most faculty members are relentlessly liberal in their politics. But the reality is that these same universities are some of the nastiest and most exploitative employers in America. The exploitation of adjuncts is an ugly feature of contemporary American academic life, and the smug complacency about it among many beneficiaries of the two tier system should remind us all that moral hypocrisy can co-exist with impressive degrees.
Partisans of the blue social model like to think of it as a utopian commonwealth; academic adjuncts know the truth, and the revolting treatment of adjuncts by colleges understandably anxious to avoid the high costs of Obamacare should remind us all that the blue social model, especially in decline, is not as benign as its supporters and beneficiaries believe.
Sounds like a perfect plan - from an evil genius.
It couldn’t happen to a finer bunch of anti-Americans.
Bwa Ha Ha Ha Ha
Welcome to Economics 101, Prof Balla. You thought someone else would pay the bills.
Two tier system
Upper tier = We are the elite and get everything with no out of pocket expenses
Lower tier= You are the stupid plebs who pay for my healthcare. Now bow down and worship me
I see nothing revolting at all in the "treatment" of adjuncts by colleges. Nobody guaranteed these employees anything other than to be paid for their work. Less work less pay. The colleges didn't invent obamacare, they are simply reacting to it in a rational fashion.
Glad to see liberal professors getting self screwed!
In the words of someone far smarter the Perfesser Balla, “What a Maroon!”
I can see a retroactive 0scumbagCare “law” coming, to lower the current 30-hr threshold to 20-hrs.
Any university administrator that voted for the bastard-in-chief should cut his own pay by a proportional amount.
Hey, ease up on the adjuncts will ya!
I staffed a college school for several years- the adjuncts did the best teaching and we paid them peanuts. They were by and large better organized, more entrepreneurial and more responsive to students than the tenured/tenure track. When I had to tighten up the budget and get my tenured colleagues to pick up more of the teaching load- it was a complete headache. It got in the way of their “research.”
Nice job pimping your 138 examples of whatever.
Hey, where do you suppose this blogger’s research came from?
From what I’ve been hearing, almost every higher education institution in North NJ has done this, from private trade/tech schools, public colleges/unis up to and including Rutgers and Stevens Institute of Technology.
Several deptarments at NYU have also done this.
The pay for adjuncts is already really poor in North NJ compared to the cost of living (comes out to at or below minimum wage), I can’t imagine how reducing the total compensation to under 2/3rds of minimum wage is going to afford the paying students any chance of getting competent adjuncts to lecture in the region.
IN the NYC tristate region adjuncts are paid less than minimum wage, and can be fired without cause on a whim, while tenured professors total compensation has increased at more than double the rate of inflation for the last 14 years and they can not be fired even when they murder 12 year old boys in the Uni library.
The Uni system is very very broken.
Only the laws he agrees with, of course.
It's always funny when people who think they are insiders run into the brick wall of reality.