April 22, 2013
By SEIU News Media
As the federal government considers how to develop standards for coverage of part-time work under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), SEIU submitted comments to the IRS urging for a fair and accurate assessment of how contingent faculty hours are determined. The federal regulations determining adjunct faculty hours will determine how an employers' responsibility for coverage under the ACA is assessed.
In the comments, SEIU argued against a "singular standard" for determining faculty hours, writing, "There is no single method that is fair and that accurately reflects the hours equivalent of in-classroom hours or credit hours for all adjunct faculty."
SEIU urged the Treasury Department and the IRS to "a minimum standard be articulated based on parity with hours equivalencies for tenured and tenure track faculty. This minimum standard would be adjusted by higher education institutions when factors result in additional hours of work."
A number of other higher-ed related organizations have submitted comments on the issue, including the New Faculty Majority, which wrote the "preponderance of calls for a 1:1 ratio of in-class to out-of-class hours as a conversion formula is forcing both colleges and adjunct faculty to place economic survival above considerations of educational quality or the integrity of the profession."
The IRS rulings are expected later this year.