District will pay 6.4 percent for retirement for adjuncts

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Jerry Townsend

Jerry Townsend

By REBECCA SALINAS

rsalinas191@student.alamo.edu 

The Alamo Colleges will make the 6.4 percent contribution to the Teacher Retirement System for adjunct faculty teaching more than 7.4 semester hours in the spring.

A TRS rule, announced by Chancellor Bruce Leslie on Sept. 26, limited adjunct teaching hours to 7.4 before both the adjunct and the district would have to contribute 6.4 percent of compensation.

President Robert Zeigler sent an email later that day saying three options are to hire more adjuncts, keep faculty teaching 7.5 hours or more with justification or cut classes.

Zeigler said Wednesday that the district will pay the contribution and “will not make changes.”

Jerry Townsend, Adjunct Faculty Council chair and media communications adjunct, said he was informed of the decision at Tuesday’s regular board of trustees meeting.

Townsend planned to speak during the citizens-to-be heard section of the meeting to let trustees know of the rule’s disadvantages for adjuncts.

Zeigler said the decision was made about a month ago when Leslie sent an email to faculty Sept. 26.

There is currently no policy addressing the rule after the spring semester, and Zeigler does not know if there will be one.

Townsend said he wants to get the message out and “calm people down.”

He said adjuncts who teach a couple of classes might not always check their ACES email so they might not know.

He also said he wants to “correct the damaged morale” that might have been caused if adjuncts were limited to fewer classes. Previously, adjuncts could teach up to 12 units.

He said he thinks the contribution adjuncts will have to make will connect them to the college.

“It bonds them to the college and district by letting them buy in,” Townsend said.

On the other hand, Zeigler said some adjuncts are not pleased because their compensation will be smaller.

Zeigler said he does not know how much the contribution made by the district will cost.

He said if adjuncts’ schedules have been limited in the spring because of the rule, the college administration will address earlier issue.

An earlier decision that limited adjunct teaching loads was made because the district had to stay within budgeted labor costs, Zeigler said.

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