What Management Says Vs. the Truth

By Geoff Johnson

The money will go away, or it’s uncertain. 

Truth: The governor personally pushed for the inclusion of the 200 million dollars in ongoing funding into  the state budget which was supported and adopted by the governor. For the money to go away, the  legislature and governor both would have to support the reduction of funding. It would be just as likely  for the governor to cut funding for community colleges altogether, yet it looks unlikely that community  colleges are shutting down. 

The money is not sufficient. 

Truth: Last year, districts representing close to 30% of all part-time faculty statewide adopted AB 190, fully reimbursable healthcare for their part-time faculty, while a number of other districts  adopted a 50% reimbursable plan (the state pays for 50% of their part-time coverage). To date, the state  has only had to pay 22.66 million of the 200 million dollars in ongoing funding. That’s just 11.3% of the  state funding! This said, all the local unions that have negotiated the AB 190-compliant, fully  reimbursable plans, have “mitigating language” in their contract which allows for the district to  renegotiate their part-time healthcare plan should state funds be insufficient to cover costs over a time  and at a level the local union and district agree to. 

We’re not sure if we’ll get the money. 

Truth: The 22.66 million the state has paid out already strongly suggests  otherwise.  

We’ll have to cover all the part-time faculty. 

Truth: Nothing in AB190 stipulates that all part-time faculty working in a district must be enrolled in a  district’s health insurance program. In fact, the point and purpose of the program was to provide  medical insurance to part-time faculty who otherwise had no coverage. In fact, California Ed Code Section 87864 states: 

No part-time faculty member or dependents whose premiums for health insurance are paid by an  employer other than a community college district are eligible to participate in the program established  pursuant to this article. 

We’ll be overwhelmed by part-time faculty enrolling. 

Truth: In districts like Los Rios, and San Diego, the 2nd and 3rd largest in the state, where the fully  reimbursable plan has been in place since Spring 2023, just 30% of adjuncts working in the district have  applied, because many have insurance through a spouse, partner, or other employers. That said, for  those 30%, this healthcare protects the life and health of themselves and their family members.

The multi-district reimbursement plan is too complicated. 

Truth: 13 districts have already agreed to participate in a multi-district reimbursement plan, and in fact,  the plan has been functioning well in the San Diego and Grossmont-Cuyamaca districts, who have very  straightforward forms that districts can see by simply going to their respective benefits page. It’s not  hard — management wants to make you think it is. 

We can’t do it because we provide insurance through CALPERS. 

Truth: First of all, this did not stop the Los Angeles and West Valley-Mission districts from negotiating  fully reimbursable AB 190 Plans. That said, because of concerns that existed with rules governing  CALPERS coverage related to the CSU’s potentially preventing CALPERS from providing medical insurance for part-time faculty working under 50% of a full-time load, a provision was written into a recently passed  bill, SB 142, which made the following change to California Ed Code 22807.5: 

“a contracting agency that is a community college district may, by resolution filed with the board, deem  all part-time faculty employees who have an appointment of at least one semester and whose teaching  assignment with one or more community college districts equals or exceeds two courses or 40 percent of  the cumulative equivalent of a minimum full-time teaching assignment, to be employees subject to this  part.” 

It will be too difficult or too costly to administer.

Truth: The Los Angeles, Los Rios, and San Diego districts, the three largest districts in the state, have all  managed to handle the administration of fully reimbursable AB190 plans, as have other large  community college districts, such as North Orange. As for costs, if your district is paying for any part-time  healthcare currently, switching to a fully reimbursable plan means they pay no costs on part-time medical coverage, insurance stipends, etc. Any such cost could certainly be used to hire additional staff,  if in fact needed. 

We can’t afford to pay out the money and be reimbursed later.

Truth: Districts are making this claim under the assertion that their reserves could possibly fall below  15% of their annual operating budget. Districts are only required by state law to have 5% of their  operating budget in reserve—the 15% number is a chancellor’s recommendation. Several districts who  have agreed to the fully reimbursable AB190 plan have board reserves below 15%, that keeping their  part-time faculty and their families healthy and alive is an important priority, knowing full well that they  will get the money back and that providing fully reimbursable AB 190 healthcare means the district  has to pay zero for part-time faculty medical insurance. 

Don’t Buy What Management is Selling.
Part-time Faculty Healthcare Now!

Geoffery Johnson is an adjunct instructor of English and Humanities at both San Diego Mesa and Southwestern Colleges. Beyond his teaching, Geoff plays an active role in advocating for adjunct faculty rights. He serves as the President of the American Federation of Teachers’ Adjunct-Contingent Caucus. He also contributes by serving as the Southern Part-Time Faculty Director on the Board of Directors of the California College Association.

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