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THE CREATIVE ALLIANCE COLUMN

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By KATHLEEN BITETTI


Part-timer's and Adjunct Professors Health Insurance and Retirement Legislation

Greetings!

Here are two pieces of Massachusetts legislation that will probably be of interest to the artist community. Rather than re-work the information, I am posting the email letter that was forwarded to me. Get as many people you can to support these two pieces of legislation!

How to find out who your elected officials are:

Vote Smart
Where Do I Vote MA

From Pat Markunas, MSCA President:

Two bills that are important to part-time faculty have been reported out favorably by the Public Service Committee and await action in the separate Ways & Means Committees of the General Court. It is important that each of us contact our legislators to support these bills. The proposed legislation would provide part-time faculty with pension and health insurance opportunities comparable to those of full-time colleagues across the Commonwealth.

See below the details on each bill and the related contact information for your legislators. An email, personal note, or a phone call is appropriate to communicate your message - or use any combination thereof. If you call and cannot speak directly with your legislators, be sure to talk with the legislative aides; they are well-informed and will communicate your messages. Emphasize that part-time faculty teach a considerable percentage of courses on our campuses and merit the important safety nets that these bills would provide.

Action requested on Adjunct Health Insurance Bill: SB 1587

This bill would provide part-time faculty who teach the equivalent of four 3-credit courses per calendar year in the state higher education system to be eligible for a state employee insurance plan that is comparable in both cost and coverage to insurance policies held by their public higher education full-time faculty colleagues. After a successful hearing before the Joint Committee on Public Service on July 12, 2007, Senate Bill 1587 was reported out favorably and referred to the Senate Ways & Means Committee for their review. If reviewed favorably by this committee, the bill would then be sent to the full Senate for further review and a possible vote.

How can you help?

  1. Contact your State Senator and ask him/her to support this opportunity for a comprehensive and affordable insurance plan for our adjuncts.
  1. Note that the new Commonwealth Connector insurance plan for these employees would be far more expensive for most interested and eligible part-time faculty and is not as comprehensive as those to which their peers subscribe.
  1. If your Senator is so inclined, please request him/her to contact the Chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, Steven Panagiotakos, and other Senators on this Committee to urge their support.
  1. If your Senator is on this Committee, it would be especially important to for you to contact him/her to support this bill so that it might move forward to the Senate floor for further action.

Action requested on Adjunct Pension Bill: HB 2821

This bill allows part-time faculty who teach the equivalent of four 3-credit courses per calendar year in the state higher education system to earn a year of creditable service for each year of such teaching experience. House Bill 2821 has been reported out favorably by the Public Service Committee and has been referred to the House Ways & Means Committee for their review. If reported on favorably, the bill would then be sent to the entire House for further review and a possible vote.

How can you help?

  1. Contact your State Representative and ask him/her to support this opportunity for creditable service towards retirement for our part-time faculty.
  1. If your Representative is so inclined, please request him/her to contact the Chair of the House Ways & Means Committee, Robert A. DeLeo, and other Representatives on this Committee to urge their support.
  1. If your Representative is on this Committee, it would be especially important for you to contact him/her to support this bill so that it might go forward to the entire House for further action.

For contact information on state legislators, go to:
Senators
Representatives
If you don't know who your Massachusetts state reps or senators are, you can get that information here.

Thank you for your support of these important bills.

Pat Markunas MSCA President


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