October-November 2022 Advocate: Equitable part-time faculty healthcare now!

Part-time faculty healthcare

Healthcare parity now! Come support quality healthcare plans for part-time faculty on Oct. 26th!

Last spring the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) conducted a groundbreaking statewide survey of part-time faculty, the results of which brought to light the many negative consequences of community college districts’ failure to provide adequate healthcare for part-time faculty. That survey led directly to CFT organizing a major campaign for expanded state funding for part-time community college faculty healthcare, involving members from locals around the state (including numerous representatives from AFT 1493.) The campaign made bold demands–faculty wrote thousands of letters to legislators and the governor, testified at Senate and Assembly hearings, and shared their stories at a lobby day, on social media, and with reporters–and ultimately won a historic expansion of state funding, increasing state support from $490,000 to $200 million in ongoing funding!

The CFT’s campaign also successfully lobbied for a trailer bill that incentivizes districts to provide quality, affordable healthcare for part-timers by making districts eligible to be reimbursed for 100% of their costs by the state. To receive the 100% funding reimbursement, districts must meet four criteria which are intended to encourage parity between full- and part-time faculty. The criteria require districts to:

  • offer health insurance coverage to all part-time faculty with an assignment equal to or greater than 40 percent of a full-time assignment;
  • offer part-time faculty the same health insurance benefits provided to the full-time faculty in the district;
  • limit individual premiums paid by part-time faculty to no more than the actual individual premium paid by full-time faculty in the district; and
  • offer reimbursement for health insurance to all multi-district part-time faculty (aka “freeway flyers”).

Based on these criteria, AFT has proposed that SMCCCD give part-timers with loads of 40% or more access to medical, dental, and vision benefits equivalent to those offered to full-timers. This proposal would almost certainly be fully reimbursed by the state. If the district agrees to our proposal, it would save them hundreds of thousands of dollars currently used to pay part-time healthcare reimbursement stipends, which could instead partly be used to pay for part-time dental and vision coverage. The District stands to save money while giving part-timers a significant improvement over the current stipend program, which falls short of covering many part-timers’ total healthcare costs, does not allow part-timers to cover dependents, does not cover dental or vision, and requires part-timers to pay out of pocket and wait until the end of the semester for reimbursement. The District has not offered any response to our proposal beyond saying they want to cost it out, and, as of this writing, they have not given us any negotiating dates since September 20th.

Let the Board know you support healthcare parity for part-timers!

It’s now time to win part-time healthcare in SMCCCD, and we need your help! Come to our October 26th action at the Board of Trustees meeting to tell our Trustees they must provide part-time faculty with healthcare plans. Please RSVP here to let us know you’ll be at the 10/26 Board action. [https://bit.ly/AFTOctober26RSVP]



Click here to learn more about CFT’s Part-Time Faculty campaign to secure health insurance coverage for all community college part-time faculty