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