Pennsylvania College Cuts Teachers Hours To Avoid Obamacare Costs

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Community College Of Allegheny County announced last week that it will be cutting the hours of some adjunct faculty members to avoid the costs of Obamacare.

According to InsideHigherEd.com, the move will save the school $6 million when the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented in January 2014.

College President Alex Johnson said in an e-mail to faculty and staff members last week, “As you probably know, the Affordable Care Act has redefined full-time employees as those working 30 hours or more per week. As a result, the college must adjust hours of some temporary part-time employees and adjuncts to comply with the new legislation’s conception of part-time employment.”

Adjuncts previously capped at 12 credits per semester will now only get a maximum of ten. Temporary part-time employees will now be limited to working only 25 hours per week.

As IHE observed, this is a double whammy for the adjunct faculty because it eliminates any hope of them getting health insurance from the school while also reducing their income.

College spokesman David Hoovler told IHE by email, “Our preference certainly would be to extend health coverage to all of these individuals. However, we are simply unable to afford the significant cost at this time.”

Matt Williams, vice president of the New Faculty Majority, a national coalition for adjunct faculty, told IHE that CCAC's move is the first he’s heard of, but he doesn't rule out other institutions doing the same.

As such, despite repeatedly claiming on the campaign trail that America needs more teachers, President Obama's signature piece of legislation appears likely to reduce that number when it comes to higher education.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.