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Adjunct Medical Benefits Program Initiative Results

The ballots have been tallied for the Adjunct Medical Benefits Program Initiative.  Here are the final results:


Adjunct Faculty Medical Benefits Program Initiative
To provide ongoing funding for the Adjunct Medical Benefits Program, hourly faculty salaries (adjunct and overload) should be reduced by no more than two percent. This two percent reduction would be ongoing, and over and above the current 0.565% reduction and whatever reduction to the enhanced salary schedules occurs due to state categorical program cuts.
           A. Yes           B. No

The Issue:
      Two weeks ago, regular and adjunct faculty members were asked whether they would take an ongoing one percent salary reduction to provide funding for the Adjunct Faculty Medical Benefits Program (AMBP). The AFA Executive Council decided that each group would have to agree to this salary reduction in order for the negotiating team to move ahead with redirecting this money to funding the AMBP. The adjunct faculty approved the measure (Yes 62.5%/No 37.5%), but the regular faculty did not (Yes 27.5% / No 72.5%). The aggregate vote was Yes 48.5% and No 51.5%.

      Approving this current initiative would help sustain the AMBP on an ongoing basis by reducing hourly salaries equally by two percent; however, if the adjunct faculty does not vote to take an ongoing two percent salary reduction, then the District will most likely eliminate the AMBP, effective October 2010. Note: Should the current initiative pass, the two percent salary reduction would not begin earlier than Summer 2010.

      Over each semester of the past nine years, approximately two hundred SRJC adjunct faculty members and their eligible dependents have participated in the program. If and when federal health care reform is implemented, the program may become less crucial, but at this time the SRJC AMBP provides a necessary safety net for our colleagues and their families.

      Adjunct faculty will also be facing salary reductions as a result of the 62% cuts to fundingof state categorical programs for part-time office hours and part-time parity pay (as will regular faculty teaching overloads). These categorical program cuts possibly will be only for the duration of the state budget emergency. In contrast, any salary reduction that helps to sustain the AMBP will be in place until other options for quality medical insurance are available.

      The District enrolled the state’s Adjunct Medical Benefit Program (AMBP) in Fall 2000. The program resulted from legislative action that set aside $1 million each year in state categorical program funds to pay the cost of medical benefit premiums for part-time instructors in the State’s community colleges. Participating faculty members are required to maintain a 40% load average over an academic year (summer included) and pay 50% of their medical premiums to the District. Adjunct faculty members are offered a choice between the two District-sponsored group plans. Last year the District tightened the eligibility criteria, while remaining in compliance with the broader guidelines set by the State.

      The intent of the legislation was that districts would apply to the State for reimbursement of the remaining 50% of the premium, the portion not paid for by the faculty member. In the first year of the program, the $1 million was sufficient to reimburse the participating districts almost the full 50%. However, over the years, as participation has increased along with premium costs, the State has responded by decreasing the level of reimbursement to all districts. Before this year’s budget reduction, the State was returning approximately 13 cents on the dollar to SRJC. Funding of this categorical program was further cut during the current budget crisis to approximately eight cents on the dollar.

      The total annual cost of the program is approximately $1.1 million, with half of that revenue coming from the participating faculty. The District has maintained adherence to the original negotiated agreement about the program (i.e., there would be no cost to the District other than administrative overhead costs). The Board of Trustees has refused to fund any portion of the AMBP premiums on an ongoing basis, and there has been no shift in this position over the last several years. In order to maintain the program in the face of steadily decreasing state reimbursement levels and dramatically increasing medical benefit costs, AFA has negotiated with the District each year to redirect funds from other sources (including the Adjunct Faculty District Activities Fund, the Sabbatical Leave Program, and COLA). These alternatives are now exhausted.


      Read the comments of your colleagues at Fa09Referendum.shtml.

      You may contribute to this discussion by emailing your comments to afa@santarosa.edu using your College email and SUBJECT: Referendum


AMBP Initiative Salary Schedule
  Phone: 707⁄527–4731 FAX: 707⁄524–1762 Last Update: 08/08/16