Another college cuts professors’ hours to comply with Obamacare
Colorado Mountain College (CMC) is prohibiting adjunct professors from working over 30 hours per week to minimize the large financial impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The ACA, often-called Obamacare, requires that large employers offer insurance to all employees who work more than 30 hours a week — but CMC will just cut hours to avoid having to pay for the insurance.
“It wouldn’t be financially prudent to just add more full-time faculty without considering all of the expenses.” - CMC public information officer Debbie Crawford
CMC public information officer Debbie Crawford told Campus Reform that the college relies heavily on adjunct instructors — it employs approximately 600 of them — because they give the school the flexibility to “change with student needs each semester.”
“We are open enrollment, so that means students can enter at whatever level they need, so our student body changes greatly from semester to semester,” Crawford said in an interview on Tuesday. “It wouldn’t be financially prudent to just add more full-time faculty without considering all of the expenses.”
The practice of cutting employee hours to avoid buying them health insurance has angered unions and other advocacy groups.
“Penalizing part-time faculty members both by depriving them access to affordable health care as intended by law and by reducing their income,” reads a statement from the American Association of University Professors posted last April.
But Crawford said careful budgeting moves such as this one have made CMC the third most affordable public college for bachelor’s degrees in the United States.
“Having adjunct instructors available … gives us the ability to change with student needs each semester — they are going to want different classes — while [being] good stewards of tax and tuition dollars,” she said.
So far, six adjunct professors have had to have their contracts adjusted due to the new policy.
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