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Internal Revenue Service calls for change in part-time instructor pay calculation

By: Adriana Avila, Managing Editor

Full-time Math Instructor and President of the CNM Teacher’s Union Andy Tibble said he is excited that the IRS is calling for more accurate calculation of part-time instruc­tor’s hours.

The reconsidera­tion of part-time faculty hours will result in a more secure work envi­ronment that will result in better benefits for all instructors, he said.

“Full-time faculty pretty much have a guarantee of a job and a foreseeable future. I hope the administra­tion abides by the IRS’s guidelines,” he said.

Tibble said the Affordable Health Care Act has given light to a larger issue; the lack of benefits given to part-time employees.

“For CNM, part of the issue is they got part-time faculty that aren’t eligible for paid emergency family leave,” he said. “Part-time faculty members, even if they taught as many classes as a full-time, would not be eligible.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s website, the Fair Labor Standards Act states that employers who have more than 200 full-time employ­ees must automatically enroll new full-time faculty members into the employer’s health care plan and employ­ees will be continued to be enrolled under the employer’s health benefits offered. ­

At the start of 2014, all faculty members working 30 hours or more per week will be considered full-time employees and receive health insurance through employers, according to the website.

“I believe, from what I understand from the Affordable Health Care Act, if you’re working 30 hours a week your employer is going to have to make some kind of health care benefit available to you,” said Tibble.

Communic at ions and Marketing Director Brad Moore said he has not heard of the issue, but a course of action will be devel­oped as more informa­tion becomes available.

According to the Federal Register, most higher educa­tion institutions do not count the full service hours contributed by part-time faculty, but pay instead only for credit hours taught. Institutions decide whether part-time fac­ulty members will be treated as full-time fac­ulty members by com­paring the credit hours taught by part-time faculty to those taught by the typical full-time employee, according to the Register.

Tibble said part-time instructors’ hours are only calculated by time spent in the class­room whereas full-time instructors’ hours include office hours and preparation time.

“It’s an interesting conundrum for the school, I think they’re going to have to rec­ognize that along the facts that they’re going to see the numbers by the IRS and think about the Affordable Health Care Act and calculate,” he said.

Tibble said the school often relies on part-time instructors to teach larger classes, and both full- and part-time instructors teach the same hours.

“If they lead people to approach a full-time load they should have them be full-time instructors. It gives more job security,” he said.

Jonathan Baca con­tributed to this article

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