February 2022 Advocate: Governor pledges part-time faculty healthcare funding

Adjunct Faculty

Member action leads governor to pledge $200 million toward part-time faculty healthcare

CFT campaign brings early success in state budget

AFT 1493 is partnering with community college faculty union members across the state in the California Federation of Teachers’ campaign to win affordable, quality healthcare for part-time faculty.

And our member action has already led to early success in Sacramento. Just last month, as a result of letters from over 1,400 faculty across the state, Governor Newsom allocated $200 million in his January 10 state budget proposal to fund healthcare for part-time faculty on an ongoing basis – an increase of more than 400 times the current state funding level! And our local’s participation rate in this campaign placed us among the top 10 locals in the state, with strong engagement from both full-time and part-time faculty.

The program reimburses community college districts for expenses related to healthcare for part-time faculty, but in recent years the state has allotted only $490,000 annually. CFT members and allies will have to keep the heat on over the coming months, and all the way through June 30 when the state budget is finalized and signed. We must ensure this funding remains in the state budget and advocate for a system that actually gets the health coverage benefit to the part-time faculty who need it.

The CFT set its sights on this goal and launched a statewide campaign last fall during Campus Equity Week. Earlier in the year, delegates to CFT Virtual Convention passed a resolution in support of aggressively seeking healthcare for part-time faculty, now a primary goal of the campaign.

Take action now

There are two steps that we are asking members to take now to support funding for part-time faculty healthcare. Both steps are also housed at linktr.ee/CFTptcampaign:

  1. Send a letter to key legislators about this issue, and share the link with as many others as possible: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-the-state-legislature-quality-affordable-healthcare-for-all-part-time-faculty
  2. Attend upcoming budget hearings in the state legislature and speak on Zoom for one minute about why part-time faculty need healthcare: 2/14 (time TBD), and 2/16 at 9AM
    • CFT has talking points for you, and we encourage you to attend 1 of 3 trainings the week prior (2/8 @ 4PM, 2/9 @ 4PM, or 2/11 @ 1PM)
    • Please RSVP at: https://bit.ly/pthealthcarehearing

Attend the Part-Time Faculty Conference: May 1-2

One more opportunity for members to engage on this important issue is a Part-Time Faculty Conference now scheduled for May 1-2 (rescheduled from late February). Faculty will have the opportunity to join together in strategy and discussion and — due to the later date and Sacramento venue — lobby legislators in the State Capitol to support the governor’s $200 million proposal to fund healthcare for part-time faculty.  Register to attend the Part-Time Faculty Conference!

All educational employees — all workers — deserve the basic right of healthcare, and we are poised to get there for part-time faculty. Our time is now — let’s keep the momentum going to transform healthcare coverage for part-time faculty and continue advancing equity in higher education in California.

Please join us in taking action to fund part-time faculty healthcare; contact AFT 1493 Executive Secretary Marianne Kaletzky (kaletzky@aft1493.org) with any questions.