Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State
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Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State. Unemployment is a joint federal-state program established by the Social Security Act of 1935 that provides temporary financial assistance to workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own. .

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Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Unemployment is a joint federal-state program established by the Social Security Act of 1935that provides temporary financial assistance to workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Unemployment is a joint federal-state program established by the Social Security Act of 1935that provides temporary financial assistance to workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own.

In Washington State, unemployment compensation is administered by the Employment Security Department (ESD), which receives 300,000 applications for unemployment annually.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

A very small percentage of those applying for Unemployment are part-time faculty.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

A very small percentage of those applying for Unemployment are part-time faculty.

For that reason, it is safe to assume that most state UI staff are unaware of the peculiarities of part-time faculty employment conditions.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

A very small percentage of those applying for Unemployment are part-time faculty.

For that reason, it is safe to assume that most state UI staff are unaware of the peculiarities of part-time faculty employment conditions.

Contingent claimants must be cognizant of the need to explain that they are unlike tenured faculty and K-12 teachers and do not have reasonable assurance of employment.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

In Washington state, unemployed workers are eligible to receive unemployment if they have worked 680 hours in the prior year.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

In Washington state, unemployed workers are eligible to receive unemployment if they have worked 680 hours in the prior year.

This is a problem for Washington contingents: the 680 hours is based on a conventional 40-hour work week.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

In Washington state, unemployed workers are eligible to receive unemployment if they have worked 680 hours in the prior year.

This is a problem for Washington contingents: the 680 hours is based on a conventional 40-hour work week.

Adjuncts who calculated their hours can easily conclude that they don’t qualify.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

In Washington state, unemployed workers are eligible to receive unemployment if they have worked 680 hours in the prior year.

This is a problem for Washington contingents: the 680 hours is based on a conventional 40-hour work week.

Adjuncts who calculated their hours can easily conclude that they don’t qualify, when, in fact, they do.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

It is incumbent on unions to provide guidance.

There is a formula for calculation. Self-documentation is permitted.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

To calculate hours worked (AFT Washington website http://wa.aft.org/):

(1) Determine the base year: the first four quarters of the last five completed calendar quarters.

(2) Determine on a weekly basis: (a) the total number of class hours (b) the total number of non-class hours related to teaching those classes (e.g., grading papers, doing research, setting up files, preparing lectures, attending meetings or workshops, meeting with students and fellow faculty or administrators, and other activities related to your job as adjunct instructor)

(3a) Divide the number of hours by the number of full-time class hours that constitutes the full-time load (which is usually 15 per week or )

(3b) Convert that percentage back into hours based on a 35-hour week and on the amount of weeks in each quarter. A 10-hour part-time load will come out to be 23 hours per week.

(4) Multiply that out to the number of weeks in a quarter and add all the quarters together to give you your total number of hours.

In addition, should your hours not reach the 680 by using the formula above, you can self-document hours.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Because K-12 teachers and full-time, tenured college instructors have “reasonable assurance of employment,” they are not eligible for unemployment during the summer.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges are “reimbursable employers.”


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges are “reimbursable employers.”

This means unemployment claims are paid directly by the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) and then the colleges reimburse ESD with funds provided by the legislature for that purpose, which are over $1.07 million in each two-year budget cycle.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

But unspent unemployment funds can be kept by each college and used as the college sees fit.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

But unspent unemployment funds can be kept by each college and used as the college sees fit. This creates an incentive for the college to avoid paying unemployment claims.



Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Adjunct files UI claim

ESD reviews claim


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Adjunct files UI claim

ESD reviews claim

Claim approved by ESD?


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Adjunct files UI claim

ESD reviews claim

Claim approved by ESD?

No

No payment to adjunct (but can appeal ruling).


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

College/contracted employment agent reviews claim

Adjunct files UI claim

ESD reviews claim

Claim approved by ESD?

Yes

No

No payment to adjunct (but can appeal ruling).


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

College/contracted employment agent reviews claim

Adjunct files UI claim

ESD reviews claim

Claim approved by ESD?

Yes

No

No payment to adjunct (but can appeal ruling).

Adjunct receives UI payment


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

College/contracted employment agent reviews claim

Adjunct files UI claim

UI claim challenged?

ESD reviews claim

Claim approved by ESD?

Yes

No

No payment to adjunct (but can appeal ruling).

Adjunct receives UI payment


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

College/contracted employment agent reviews claim

Adjunct files UI claim

UI claim challenged?

No

ESD reviews claim

Claim approved by ESD?

Yes

No

No payment to adjunct (but can appeal ruling).

Adjunct receives UI payment

No change for adjunct


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Hearing with judge (telephone)

College/contracted employment agent reviews claim

Yes

Adjunct files UI claim

UI claim challenged?

No

ESD reviews claim

Claim approved by ESD?

Yes

No

No payment to adjunct (but can appeal ruling).

Adjunct receives UI payment

No change for adjunct


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Hearing with judge (telephone)

College/contracted employment agent reviews claim

Yes

Adjunct files UI claim

UI claim challenged?

No

ESD reviews claim

Challenge upheld?

Claim approved by ESD?

Yes

No

No payment to adjunct (but can appeal ruling).

Adjunct receives UI payment

No change for adjunct


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Hearing with judge (telephone)

College/contracted employment agent reviews claim

Yes

Adjunct files UI claim

UI claim challenged?

No

ESD reviews claim

Challenge upheld?

No

Claim approved by ESD?

Yes

No

College reimburses ESD

No payment to adjunct (but can appeal ruling).

Adjunct receives UI payment

No change for adjunct


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Hearing with judge (telephone)

College/contracted employment agent reviews claim

Yes

Adjunct files UI claim

UI claim challenged?

No

ESD reviews claim

Challenge upheld?

No

Claim approved by ESD?

Yes

No

College reimburses ESD

No payment to adjunct (but can appeal ruling).

Adjunct receives UI payment

No change for adjunct

No change for adjunct


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Hearing with judge (telephone)

College/contracted employment agent reviews claim

Yes

Adjunct files UI claim

UI claim challenged?

No

Yes

ESD reviews claim

Challenge upheld?

College retains funds

No

Claim approved by ESD?

Yes

No

College reimburses ESD

No payment to adjunct (but can appeal ruling).

Adjunct receives UI payment

No change for adjunct

No change for adjunct


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Hearing with judge (telephone)

College/contracted employment agent reviews claim

Yes

Adjunct files UI claim

UI claim challenged?

No

Yes

ESD reviews claim

Challenge upheld?

College retains funds

No

Claim approved by ESD?

Yes

No

College reimburses ESD

No payment to adjunct (but can appeal ruling).

Adjunct receives UI payment

No change for adjunct

No change for adjunct

Adjunct pays back received funds


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

  • Washington State Community and Technical Colleges attempt to minimize their unemployment obligations:

    • 1. Not publicizing that adjunct faculty are entitled to unemployment between quarters (when not employed).


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

  • Washington State Community and Technical Colleges attempt to minimize their unemployment obligations:

    • 1. Not publicizing that adjunct faculty are entitled to unemployment between quarters (when not employed).2. Implying that adjunct faculty have “reasonable assurance of employment” when, in fact, they do not.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Olympic College “Multiple Quarter Contract”


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Olympic College “Multiple Quarter Contract”

“… offers you a reasonable assurance of employment”


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Olympic College “Multiple Quarter Contract”

“… offers you a reasonable assurance of employment”

But in practice, one could could lose classes and could still file for and receive unemployment.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Olympic College “Multiple Quarter Contract”

“… offers you a reasonable assurance of employment”

But in practice, one could could lose classes and could still file for and receive unemployment.

The claim of reasonable assurance of employment was false!


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Pierce College’s Notification of Reasonable Assurance


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Pierce College’s Notification of Reasonable Assurance

Notification of Reasonable Assurance


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Pierce College’s Notification of Reasonable Assurance

Notification of Reasonable Assurance

But with this admission that classes are not guaranteed, this document certainly does not confer reasonable assurance of employment.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Olympic College current quarterly “contract”


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Olympic College current quarterly “contract”

“… is offered in good faith as reasonable assurance of employment”


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Olympic College current short-term “contract”


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Olympic College current short-term “contract”

$75 for a faculty retreat.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Olympic College current short-term “contract”

$75 for a faculty retreat.

Even that is offered in good faith as reasonable assurance of employment


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Olympic College historical quarterly “contract” from 1992


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Olympic College historical quarterly “contract” from 1992

No mention of reasonable assurance.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Olympic College historical quarterly “contract” from 1992

No mention of reasonable assurance. Emphasis on contingent nature of job: “… class(es) may be cancelled and the contract terminated at the discretion of the administration for such reasons as … insufficient enrollment, unavailability of facilities and/or lack of funding. Further, the class(es) may be assigned to a full-time staff member…”


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

  • Washington State Community and Technical Colleges attempt to minimize their unemployment obligations:

    • 1. Not publicizing that adjunct faculty are entitled to unemployment between quarters (when not employed).2. Implying that adjunct faculty have “reasonable assurance of employment” when, in fact, they do not.3. Contracting with professional employment services that process (“challenge”) adjunct unemployment claims.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Part of a response to Washington State Employment Security by TALX of Arvada, Colorado for Olympic College of Bremerton, Washington


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Part of a response to Washington State Employment Security by TALX of Arvada, Colorado for Olympic College of Bremerton, Washington

Note: Arvada, Colorado, not Bremerton, Washington


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Agreement between Olympic College and Employers Unity LLC

Manage all unemployment claims filed against the Employer

Annual service fee of only $2,131.00.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

How can employment services manage to provide their services so inexpensively?


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

How can employment services manage to provide their services so inexpensively?

Perhaps they cut corners in their analysis.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Part of a response to Washington State Employment Security by TALX of Arvada, Colorado for Olympic College of Bremerton, Washington


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Part of a response to Washington State Employment Security by TALX of Arvada, Colorado for Olympic College of Bremerton, Washington

Reasonable Assurance Stamp


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Part of a response to Washington State Employment Security by TALX of Arvada, Colorado for Olympic College of Bremerton, Washington

Reasonable Assurance Stamp (claiming that unemployed adjunct is simply on a “scheduled break” )


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

  • Washington State Community and Technical Colleges attempt to minimize their unemployment obligations:

    • Attempting to “prove” the adjunct is assured of future employment by showing that the adjunct’s name appears on a list of faculty, such as a campus directory, or e-mail correspondence with full-time faculty discussing future classes.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

In a December 2, 2005, town meeting with faculty, one college president was asked why his college contracted with an out of state employment outfit that offers "unemployment cost management" services by challenging adjunct faculty who file unemployment claims between quarters.

The president’s response was along the lines of “We have nothing against our adjuncts. The firm helps uphold the law and prevent fraud.”


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

In filling out a State of Washington – Employment Security Department form, “Unemployment Services TALX” of Arvada, Colorado, provided the following information about an Olympic College adjunct instructor who filed for unemployment based on a reduced workload:


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

TALX listed the quarterlytotal for the course as the pay rate of $2,585.75, but claimed this amount was MONTHLY, significantly inflating the claimant’s income.


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

Access to Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Contingent Faculty

$5.00

Access to Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Contingent Faculty: A manual for applicants and a strategy to gain full rights to benefits. By Joe Berry, Beverly Stewart, and Helena Worthen.

Downloadable as a free pdf file at http://www.chicagococal.org/Publication funded by the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and the American Association of University Professors


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

“Probably the biggest obstacle in the way of contingent faculty receiving unemployment insurance is the vast majority never file, because of ignorance, fear, and an unwillingness to invest the time for a limited payoff. Almost without a doubt the largest single factor is that contingents are not aware that they are, and should be judged, eligible for unemployment benefits because they are truly unemployed, without income, and without reasonable assurance of reemployment virtually every time they walk out the door after having given their last exam, and turn in the end-of-term grades.” (page 18) [emphasis added]


Unemployment for Adjuncts in Washington State

From: http://www.unemploymentforadjuncts.com/campaign/



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