Target: Alex Johnson, President of Community College of Allegheny County
Goal: Don’t avoid having to offer part-time employees health insurance by slashing their hours
The Community College of Allegheny County, located in the greater Pittsburgh area, has joined the ranks of institutions chafing under Obamacare. The college, worried that it will not be able to pay for employee healthcare as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, has drastically slashed the hours of professors and other staff members. CCAC president Alex Johnson has cut the hours of 400 of the college’s part-time workers.
Part-time employees will have a strict cap of 25 work hours a week; full-time is defined as working 30 or more hours per week. Adjunct professors will be forced to teach part-time schedules. While seemingly legal, this is a fairly obvious attempt to dodge the new healthcare laws that will soon go into effect. The passage of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, dictates that those who employ more than 50 people must offer them health insurance.
Many of CCAC’s employees were counting on the college to provide them with health insurance—they simply do not make enough money to buy it on their own. As of now only part-time and non-permanent staff and faculty members are being affected. However, this implies that they are less important to the college.
President Johnson has indicated that he is looking for other ways to cut costs and comply with the law, but this cannot be the best way. It will negatively affect the educational power of the college and the tutelage that students will receive. Slashing employees’ much needed hours is not the only way to cut costs. Tell President Johnson to obey the law, consider other ways of saving money, and give workers their hours back.
Dear President Johnson,
As the President of the Community College of Allegheny County, you are responsible for managing thousands of people; students, staff, and faculty all look to you for direction. You are their boss, their manager, and the face and voice of the college. You decide its direction and make the hard decisions. It is regrettable, therefore, that you have made the choice to cut employee hours in a seeming attempt to avoid offering them health insurance.
Temporary and adjunct professors will not be eligible for health insurance. Many staff members will be forced to clock out for the week after 25 hours, relegating them to part-time status and making them also ineligible for health insurance. Many of these faculty and staff members were relying on the college to provide them with some form of insurance. Now it seems many of them will have to leave and go somewhere else to find it.
You cannot so wantonly skirt the law like this. Whether or not you like it you must offer your employees health insurance or suffer the consequences. Additionally, you are an educator—you should not be jeopardizing your students’ education. Many people are depending on you right now, President Johnson. Do the right thing; give your employees their hours back.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: jim orsini via flickr